Egypt's Mubarak is Gone, So Are the Tourists and Are Staying Away

The great Egyptian democracy revolution remains historic. It's final outcome, murky at the very best, but, Mubarak is gone. As the events unfolded in Tahrir Square, Cairo, starting January 25th, 2011, so also began the flight of tourists out and by February 9th, 2011, more than a million tourists had left Egypt and its wonderful artifacts and treasures. 

Tourism in Egypt accounts for 5% of its economy. Last year, Egyptian revenues came 12 billion from tourists. It has already dropped to 6 billion. The flights arriving in Egypt during the revolutionary days failed to deliver many tourists but left packed with them. The hotels then and now remain mostly vacant but for news reporters. The Four Seasons Hotel is 98% empty and it was forced to close its casino, restaurant and shops.

The effects of the revolution was felt with dire results in Giza, Egypt, home to the pyramids. Most vendors in that area relay 100% of tourists and can earn up to $100 a day, which is excellent money. These vendors made no money during the revolution and continue to make very little primarily from local visitors. The army closed access to the pyramids further making the issue even worse. During the unrest, prices rose for many basic Egyptian needs, for instance, feed for horses rose $10.

Not all Egyptians shared the desires of those in Tahrir Square, at least to the extent when their income  was impacted. Ashraf Ali, 34, runs a small tourist shop where he has seen only five tourists since, usually it is packed and he works up to 10 hrs a day. He is angry and indicated that the protesters got what they wanted but the real damage is done. How does Egypt now convey to the tourists that it is stable and safe? When will it return to normal? What is the future of tourism?

Good questions with no answers.

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Comments 3 comments

Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 5 years ago from New Jersey

Very good questions. They have a hard road ahead of them. They will need to form political parties if they want to hold real elections in the future. I wonder if the military will just help restore order or if they will become a repressive group? And most likely the US will want to choose whomever will be in charge, so they can be sure the situation in Egypt does not destablize the one in Israel. I don't think the US should get involved in every other country's business, but am in the minority.


moncrieff profile image

moncrieff 5 years ago from New York, NY

The victory of mob is appalling in such situations. I was shocked and upset when I found out that Mubarak resigned. Why did the EU and USA second his resignation, after decades of support? I think, they reluctantly did so, as soon as they started realizing that he was not as strong as they expected: the main reason he got Western support was due to his ensuring the stability in the region. They preferred to rush to change the horse. Now what?

There'll be an anarchy, people won't live better and we are seeing other uprisings in the region. The West combines its pragmatism with an oddly ideal belief that Western democracy is the panacea for all social deseases, forgetting the fact that traditional societies had existed over there milleniums before the development of Western democracies.

Another point. If Egypt en masse will live better, its tourist appeal (Red Sea resorts) will decline with prices going high: tourists appreciate low prices, and the competition is severe: Turkey, Tunisia (hmm), Jordan, Cyprus, Greece, Spain - all fight for tourists' pockets in the Mediterranean paradise.

I'm not even going to speculate about Arab-Israel relations if Egypt will be taken over by Islamists.

But overall it's quite interesting! Voted up.


perrya profile image

perrya 5 years ago Author

I think we are all in an agreement. It is totally in the Twilight Zone for now. As far as tourism, I am sure it will continue to decline because of the uncertainty. This may make many Egyptians angry and long for a one man rule again.

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