Most places wouldn’t have a tourism industry left after the events in Egypt over the last few years. The tourism sector has certainly been hit very hard – the occupancy rates have plummeted all across the country. Most of the protests have of course centred on the capital, but now we have people rioting in other towns due to football match sentences – Port Said and Suez have seen escalating violence.
Some of the premier hotels in Cairo have simply stopped taking the few bookings they were getting. The security issues are simply not worth the risk, the revolutions second anniversary looms and most people don’t expect a celebration! Ironically the main tourist areas are very far from all the troubles and are untouched by violence. The Red Sea resorts have some wonderful bargains at the moment and Luxor is as always one of the most tranquil and peaceful towns in Africa,
The problem is that all these place are dependent on tourism and so are the majority of their inhabitants. A friend of mine has recently returned from a buying trip across Egypt, she sells antique silver online and was quite moved by the plight of the locals.
“They simply don’t know what to do, they need tourists to pay for food, medicine and education. Places like Luxor have no other work without tourism they have nothing. The Egyptians watch in despair as the riots and violence hundreds of miles away destroy their lives and businesses.”
One of the main goals of the incoming president was to promote and bolster Egypts ailing tourism industry. However it has got worse with every demonstration, some people are reporting occupancy rates in the hotels of Luxor at under 10%. It’s not just at a local level this hurts Egypt, tourism represents about 11% of Egypt’s economy. This means that debt levels are rising, there are problems with a lack of foreign currency and the reserves are plummeting.
It is worth remembering that no Governments have yet advised that Luxor and the Red Sea resorts are dangerous. If you visit you’ll probably know less about the troubles than we see on the news here. Always keep an eye on the news though and be prepared for change, the country can be volatile. It might be worth investing in some software so you can access news back at home – I use this method of SmartDNS which allows me to bypass any country specific restrictions.
This video shows you in more detail –