Egyptians in tourism trades still stinging from losses
Supporters of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak tear through the crowd at Tahrir Square on February 2.
February 12th, 2011
10:14 PM ET

Egyptians in tourism trades still stinging from losses

The revolution in Egypt may have been good for democracy, but for the country's tourism industry, it was a huge blow, according to one tour operator.

The violent images of men on horseback storming Cairo's Tahrir Square armed with whips - among the most emblematic scenes from the 18-day revolt - not only galvanized the anti-government movement, leading to former president Hosni Mubarak's ouster after 18 days of protests, but also scared away visitors who normally tour the Great Pyramids on horses and camels, tourist industry worker Ayman al Myonir said.

Last year, 14.7 million tourists visited Egypt, and tourism generated $11 billion in revenue, according to the Egyptian Tourist Authority in New York. Tourism in Egypt makes up about 11 percent of the gross domestic product, the tourism organization said.

The stables full of idle horses and camels cost $15 a day to feed at a time when no money is coming in, he says. To the people who care for the animals, there are mixed feelings over how the revolution played out.

"That's young boys, 17 years old and 18 years old. They want to say, 'we [are] hungry, we want to eat, we want to work.' We don't think about politics. Here we are not political people... It's how much I get, how I make business, how I can work, how I can feed my family," he said.

"I hope that inside the country - and this is message for inside Egypt - please, we try to help each other. We would like to put our hands together and we start to help each other."

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Filed under: Egypt • Travel
soundoff (155 Responses)
  1. Cesar

    I would love to see the pyramids in Egypt. Tourism will be stronger there with a pro-western government in the future. Go King Tuk!!!

    February 12, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • BB

      It's king Tut, not King Tuk. lol

      I'm glad I visited Egypt in 2009. But now I feel bad for my tour guides. I hope things will improve asap.

      February 12, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • RetLaEnvEmp

      Tut or Tuk – who cares – insult Americans and don't expect American tourist to visit.

      February 12, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian Macker

      "It's 'Tut' you retarded American."

      What was the giveaway that he was American? His Hispanic handle?

      February 12, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Hey Ed, What country are you from and how do you know Cesar is American ? BTW, its not proper to call him retarded you insensitive slob. It's "mentally-challenged American" not "retarded American"

      February 12, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Halcium79

      Good job CNN. Way to take something good in the world and twist it into something negative to make news...

      Do you honestly think the tourism business in Egypt didn't take a hit at the very beginning of their revolution? So now you are going to use current events to fabricate news?

      I have an idea, why don't you fabricate stories about the iPhone on Verizon being a total flop. Oh wait, you were all ready paid by AT&T to lie about that as well..

      February 12, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Martha Stewart

      How is this "twisted into something negative," you whiny little twit? It's facts and it's a legitimate side to the revolution. If they hadn't reported on it you'd be in here pooing yourself in outrage and screaming "Nice job ignoring all sides of the story and whitewashing reality, CNN! What happened? Your payoff money from AT&T not come through in the mail yet?! WHAAAAH!" You're just embarrassing yourself. Stop posting. Get off the internet in general.

      February 12, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • brutus

      not the sheep

      February 12, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Victor

      King Tut was a crook. Batman was always having to capture him.

      February 12, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Travis

      "... pro-western..."??? You M0R0N, Mubarac was "pro-western". Why do you think he was in office for 30 yrs. You probably believe the US has a democracy here don't you. Americans are so uninformed and brainwashed. The only way a democracy can work is with an educated populace which America does not have.

      February 12, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • brutus


      February 12, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • RGTEX

      Tur, Tuk, or whatever.. it could well be a typo. I do that all the time. Comments online don't need to go through rigorous grammar or spelling reviews.

      While, I understand the plight of these tour guides, I really don't quite follow why they thought they could tear into crowds. Why couldn't they just ask the leaders of the protesters for some temporary help?

      February 13, 2011 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Al Beritebak

      The pyramids are greatly overrated. Just look at some picture of them instead and save yourself the expense and trouble of visiting a crowded, noisy, dirty country, full of thieves and beggars - and that was before the revolution. They have all these dudes riding around on camels at the pyramids; did you know that when the pyramids were built, during the time of the pharaohs, there were no camels in Egypt at all? Why do you suppose there are no engravings of camels on any ancient Egyptian artifact - go ahead, look for one! The whole camels-pyramids thing is a phony tourist gimmick. When you go to the pyramids, flocks of dirty little yard apes will follow you around, trying to sell you little plastic camels made in China. And older yard apes try to get you to sit on their camel "because you are my friend" and then they ask you (the friend) for 40 pounds. It's just ridiculous. Go somewhere else. CNN even had an article here a while back and the pyramids were ranked 3rd on a list of 12 as the most overrated tourist destinations in the world (the Louvre/Eiffel Tower were #1).

      February 13, 2011 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      Unfortunately, the same guys that are riding the camels through the protesters are the same ones who work the pyramids and are moaning about what the uprising has done to tourism. It's not necesarily consistent, nor does it have to make any sense. And yes, it is King Tut.

      February 13, 2011 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      Unfortunately, the same guys that are riding the camels through the protesters are the same ones who work the pyramids and are moaning about what the uprising has done to tourism. It's not necesarily consistent, nor does it have to make any sense.

      February 13, 2011 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
    • dean IN

      Or it could go the other way. How many westerners jump at the chance to visit Iran.

      February 13, 2011 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Sherri

      Do you REALLY think they will have a pro-western government? They HATE America. Didn't you see them on TV telling the reporters that? They hate us.They hate freedom. (I have heard them say it). I doubt we see much change and there isno way in hell I would go there. Or to any Muslim country. EVER

      February 13, 2011 at 1:36 am | Report abuse |
    • John Hu

      Congratulations to people of Egypt on their freedom. I think this will inspire some other countries to get free from shackles of dictatorship like yaman, china and few other African nations who are facing the same menace.

      February 13, 2011 at 1:50 am | Report abuse |
    • mccgeno

      I think it's King Tux.

      February 13, 2011 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
    • sonya

      I kind of feel sorry for the u see the scars on the horses...........I lived in Egypt and animal cruelty will never allow me to go back.........the way these people treat animals especially donkeys is horrible!!

      February 13, 2011 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Daniel

      If you think rioting in the streets in an Arab country = pro western government – you may be in for a big surprise.
      Take a look at Iran, Iraq, Turkey for starters.

      February 13, 2011 at 4:21 am | Report abuse |
  2. Cesar

    11 Billion bucks, dam! Lots of dough.

    February 12, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. downwithneonazies

    "grinberg" reports about the tourism industry, without mentioning the fact that mubarak's fortune is largely invested in tourism for the well-heeled class, such as wall street crowd..... go figure.

    February 12, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  4. The Truth

    Gee ya think? What Genius thought up this story.

    February 12, 2011 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • brutus


      February 13, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
  5. John

    When will the new president for Egypt be appointed by Obama? I can't wait

    February 12, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. drap

    Sadly,these awesome Egyptian treasures are being looted as we blog... .

    February 12, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • JonathanWiterski

      That is truly a loss to their culture as well as to the world. I hope the military can provide proper security for Egypt's national treasures.

      February 12, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • N.D. Anajones

      Ummm... no. The looting was for one hour on one day, it was by pro-government agents out to discredit the protestors, and it was immediately stopped. Today has been wall-to-wall coverage of the military and protestors peacefully sweeping up the streets and restoring the order of things. Just what frigging site *do* you get your news from?

      February 13, 2011 at 12:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Glenn Beck

      Probably Fox News

      February 13, 2011 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. mangoz more thing the U.S. gvt will get wide in the ass and send aid in the form of more tax payers dollars.

    February 12, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • KH

      great reply !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      February 13, 2011 at 2:01 am | Report abuse |
    • KH

      F #### K EVERYONE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      February 13, 2011 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
  8. Janice

    I would be honored to take a tour of egypt.. from anyone that spent their time in the square!!

    February 12, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Stu Pidasole

    Relax everyone..Tut,Tuk,Tums..oranges..apples,he was trying to make a genuine point re:tourism. we will be lucky to see these treasures now! ... .

    February 12, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |

    tis a sad sad day.... me's a needa thata money..

    February 12, 2011 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. marty

    that's such a selfish way of thinking...the countries dictator got overthrown, and they're thinking about themselves?

    February 12, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. eric

    Tuk this!!

    February 12, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. eric

    I think Obama should appoint himself president of Egypt and get out of the USA. We'd all be better off.

    February 12, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Edward Jones

    Unfortunately, the loss of tourist income will frustrate Egyptians leading to more unrest and radicalization – militants always dominate the liberal community. Since America is moving in that direction, America should be happy until chaos hits.

    February 12, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • RON PAUL!

      Aww, who's a cute li'l Teabagger? Who's a tough li'l internet warrior? You are! Yes you are! rrrrRRRF! You're just so cute I could eat you up like a biscuit!

      February 13, 2011 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Lilarose in Oregon

      Liberals are militant? Where do you get this idea? Most of my friends are conservative, and they all own guns and would shoot at anything that scared them.

      February 13, 2011 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  15. Conkfritter

    Hey Ed:
    It's these retarded Americans who put 1 billion a year in to that camel jockey army Egypt has.
    Lucky you can say what you wrote. If this was the Mubarek's govt., someone would be knocking down your door
    and jump starting your gonads with a car battery. So don't trash America OK?

    February 12, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
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