Walking around the base of the Pyramids or through the Valley of Kings you expect to be confronted by photographs filled with tourists.
But at the moment there is only open space.
Why are tourists not visiting some of the most awe-inspiring sights in the world?
Because of the Media.
When it is said that “all news is good news” it doesn’t apply to the Arab Spring and Revolutions that have spread like wildfire through the Middle East over the past 12 months.
And the media continues to report on an Egypt that is “at war” and fighting in the streets. While the reality is completely different.
Egypt is currently without a ruler as they have recently toppled their current dictator. With elections planned for the middle of this year there is unfortunately still a feeling of unrest and disquiet across the country. But unrest doesn’t mean that there are tanks rolling across the squares. In fact we didn’t see or encounter anything that worried us even after visiting Tahir Square on New Years day.
Everyone continues to go about their daily business and get on with their lives.
We spoke to a number of local Egyptians in Cairo, Luxor and Hurghada and they are all very optimistic about the future for Egypt. The only problem being that one of their largest money spinners, tourism, is currently hurting. And hurting bad.
We have just returned from exploring Egypt over a 10 day period and were gobsmacked by how few tourists there were in the country. The lack of tourists is really taking its toll.
Our tour guide said that their bookings are well down over previous years. And local businesses and tourist operators are really struggling to fill the gap left by a usually booming industry.
The reports before we left were still mentioning that there were riots in the streets and that tourists should avoid travelling to Egypt unless absolutely necessary.
Well we are telling you now, it IS absolutely necessary.
It is necessary because the local Egyptian people want and NEED tourists to return. The sooner that happens the better.
Our tour was fantastic because we were able to take amazing photos without the crowds, never had to queue and were offered discounts (upon the already shamefully cheap prices) on everything.
I have never met a friendlier bunch of locals who just wanted to welcome us to Egypt. Sure we had the louts who tried to sell you everything under the sun. But even after you would refuse to buy something or ignored them they would still say just one thing time and time again.
“Thank you for coming and welcome. Make sure you tell ALL your friends that Egypt is open for business”.
Well that and being offered 200,000 camels at every attraction for Adela.