Tourists stay away from Egypt

2011-03-31 12:48

kalahari.com

Cairo - Tourists are staying away from Egypt two months after the start of a popular revolution that removed longtime president Hosni Mubarak.

 Their absence is dealing another blow to a nation already staggered by inefficiency, corruption and poverty.

Protesters compared Mubarak to the ancient Pharaohs. Their tombs, in timeworn and time-honoured pyramids, rise majestically in Egypt's desert.

Now the sand-swept sites stand nearly empty. Turmoil during the pro-democracy revolution that overturned the government frightened tourists away.

Anti-government protests started on January 25. Officials have said more than 210 000 tourists fled the country in the last week of January and the first few days of February.

The government has estimated that the unrest cost the nation about $1.7bn in the span of about two weeks, with more than half that figure stemming from tourism losses.

The effects are dire. About two million Egyptians make their living from tourism, which amounts to 5%-6% of the nation's gross domestic product. Unemployment already is widespread, and underemployment, or jobs that pay very little, is even more common.

Some new patterns are emerging while foreign tourists reconsider their options.

Deserted pyramids

The few tourists now in the country make pilgrimages to Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo, where hundreds of thousands gathered in anti-government protests.

Sidewalk merchants line the circumference of the square, hawking T-shirts, flags, bookmarks, tissue boxes, hats, badges, stickers and wall hangings dedicated to the revolution.

Fuelled by the same renewed national pride, Egyptians are visiting tourist sites once packed with sunburned European visitors.

Children clamber up otherwise deserted pyramids. Their parents relax on the large stone building blocks below, enjoying the spring sunshine. But they do not have the cash of their foreign counterparts, who fueled this crucial segment of the Egyptian economy.

Young Egyptians use the moment to stage a colourful plea for tourists to come back. Dressed up as Pharaoh kings, they pose by the Nile and the pyramids.

"The tourist is our guest, be generous with them," one of their signs reads. Another man holds up a sign declaring, "Egypt is a country of safety and security".

But there are precious few foreigners around to read them.

- AP

Read more on:    egypt  |  north africa  |  tourism
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 12:15 PM
    Road name: Elevated Freeway Inbound
    DELAYS going towards The Waterfront exit
  • Wednesday Montague Gardens - 10:52 AM
    Road name: Montague Drive Southbound
    DELAYS towards Bosmansdam Road due to roadworks
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

DSTV Mobile iDrifta

The iDrifta is a plug and play mobile DVB-H receiver...

From R99.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The ingredients for today are communicating your original ideas in a creative and unique way that can make the right people look...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.