Tourism in Egypt Decreasing Since the Revolution
Tourism has always been one of the biggest economic factors in Egypt. People from around the world have been pouring into the North African country to see its rich culture, its historical sites and its contrasts. Many come to Red Sea resorts for holidays where they can go bathing, diving or just simply relax. However, since the revolution of 2011 and the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, tourism has gone down sharply, simply because many think the country is not safe enough.
In the past years the number of visitors to Egypt fell by over 30%. Tourism, which had been producing over 12 billion Euros of income a year, now only returns about 8 billion Euros. It normally provides 10% of the country’s income. Government officials call it the worst disaster in Egyptian tourism since 60 tourists were killed in Luxor in 1997.
Near Cairo the tourism disaster can be clearly seen. In the good old days there were long lines of tourists from all over the world waiting to get guides that would show them the great pyramids of Giza. Today taxi drivers, guides and vendors are waiting patiently for a few tourists to come and give some income.
Hotels and other tourist destinations all around the country have had to reduce prices in order to stay competitive and lure tourists. The drop in visitors is hitting all sections of the Egyptian economy, not only the people who depend directly on tourism to make a living.
Many people think that the power of the new strong party, the Muslim Brotherhood, is one of the reasons why tourists are staying away from Egypt. They have repeatedly stated that they want to ban alcohol and forbid bikinis on beaches. This would definitely be a devastating blow to the tourist industry.
However, government officials working in the tourism department continue to stay calm and see no reason for panic. They claim that Egypt will stay a main tourist destination because no other country can offer visitors such a rich variety of interesting destinations.
Not all regions in Egypt are affected by the crisis. Red Sea bathing resorts are witnessing only a slight reduction in the number of visitors because violence is so far away. Destinations in and around Cairo and in the Nile valley are hardest hit. Many of the famous Nile cruise operators, for example, do not have the visitors to carry out their trips.
In the course of these events, Egypt’s tourism has witnessed a shift in the origin of tourists. While many western Europeans and Americans are staying away, there is a big influx of visitors from Eastern Europe, notably Russia, Poland and the Middle East.
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