Feb. 27 - Mourners and officials gather near the Egyptian city of Luxor where 19 people died in a hot air balloon crash, but few think the accident will worsen Egypt’s already slumping tourism sector. Mana Rabiee reports.
Mourners and officials gathered Wednesday near the ancient town of Luxor, where 19 people died after their hot air balloon came crashing down the day before. Nearly all the victims were foreign tourists, but Luxor Governor Ezzat Saad is confident the accident won't affect tourism here. SOUNDBITE: Governor Of Luxor City, Ezzat Saad saying: "This is the first time with victims as we have seen and that is why we think that this incident will not have a big or a decisive impact on the flow of tourists to our governorate." Tourists visiting a nearby temple are undeterred about visiting Egypt. SOUNDBITE: Tourist Pascal Michael, saying: "I have been in the Valley of the Kings and in Hatshepsut temple and other places are nice." The crash was caught on amateur video, as passengers on another balloon helplessly watched. The accident comes at a bad time. Tourism is a mainstay of Egypt's economy, but two years of political instability has kept millions of tourists away.