Docked: Egypt’s Nile cruises docked, awaiting tourism recovery
The severe hit on Egypt’s tourism means more unemployment, late salaries. For now, the tourism sector is eyeing hand-over to civilian rulers for rebound.
October 22, 2011 10:11 by Reuters
“The idea of military rule scares tourists. Most of these worries will continue until the presidential vote and civilians take over,” said Farid Farah, General Manager of Nubian Travel, warning “when tourism stops, everything does with it.”
Tourists who have come say they aren’t that worried.
“My friends told me not to go when they found out I was coming to Egypt but I told them I see no reason not to come here. Egyptians need our help and this is one way to do it,” said Carrisse Young, 32-year-old American tourist.
“I haven’t felt unsafe at all. Everyone is very friendly and we are having a fantastic time,” said Young, who arrived the day after this week’s clashes. She is like many tourists in the city, who were tempted by cheap rates and bargain prices.
Budget tourists don’t bring in the same revenues, however. Tourist guides say they are less interested in expanding their travel plans and don’t always tip well. Guides complain they get few customers. Some work once a month, if at all.
Any staff that join hotels and other places of business during high season have lost their source of income. For many more, their employers can’t always pay their salaries.
“Salaries are sometimes late, because I pay when I have the money. We are all patient because there is nothing we can do at this point but the problem is we can’t project when this dry spell will end,” Beau Soleil’s Zakaria said.
Tourism Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour said in April he saw a rebound by the last quarter of the year, even if it still meant a 25 percent fall in revenues from 2010.