Regional violence: Egypt\'s tourism badly hurt
Egypt’s tourism boom is on the verge of breakdown, a victim of the recent Israeli-Palestinian violence that broke out late September, reported CNN.
The country’s hotels, tour operators and travel industry in general are facing an unpromising tourism season to come following the past three years amazing recovery. These businesses are being forced to slash down prices in an effort to draw tourism to the region.
This is the worst crisis since the Luxor massacre, said George Fawzi,
director of tourism at American Express in Cairo, referring to the killing of 58 tourists by Islamic militants at the Hatshepsut Temple in November 1997. Out tourist numbers are down at least 20 to 25 percent compared to the same time last year.
Travelers planning vacations in Egypt have always been affected by the political events in the Middle East. The Persian Gulf War, although far from Egypt’s pyramids and Nile cruises, scared off many Western travelers in late 1990 and well into 1991.
While the number of tourists to Egypt did not decline as soon as the violence broke out in Israel in late September, they slowly began dropping in mid October as hotels and tour operators witnessed dramatic drops in reservations.
The most frustrating aspect for the Egyptian travel industry is that even though the violence has hardly affected Egypt directly in recent years, the fact that most Western travelers combine their once-in-a-lifetime Egypt trips with excursions to Israel and other parts of the Middle East has made tourists prone to cancel their vacations regardless of Egypt’s current political stability.
While Egypt has experienced much lesser street protests and civilian uprisings, criticism of the United States and Israel is constantly recurrent on television and in newspapers. - (Albawaba-MEBG)