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. eric

    Only Americans can be that stupid. It's the high quality public education!

    February 12, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. eric

    Sounds like Hal has stock in Verizon.

    February 12, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bela Karloff

    Hey Eric..take your tea bag and start printing your Palin 2012 bumperstickers.

    February 12, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. RUFFNUTT

    i've always wannted to see king tuk in common.. he was the boy king..

    February 12, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  5. eric

    Karloff for president!

    February 12, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rytis

    I say this only because I have no chance – if you can, invest in Egypt tourism asap.

    February 12, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  7. eric

    Go Martha! A voice of reason in a sea of stupidity.

    February 12, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Love Jordan

    The next domino is dictator of Jordan " Abdollah", He is more corrupted than Mubarak.

    February 12, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Nawar

    The story is not only retarded, but also insensitive. You might as well argue that the previous regime hired mercenaries are also unhappy as their income is also cut off and they might face prosecution. Egypt is going through tremendous positive change and this article wants us to sympathize with a few individuals whose business is down for now? Doctors, engineers, business owners, and professionals from all the walks of life voluntarily took time off work to make this happen. Obviously, the patriotic meter for the heroes of our article is set really low!

    February 12, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  10. eric

    Buy all the camel saddle stock you can get before Rytis corners the market!

    February 12, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. eric

    CNN. Camel News Nitwits

    February 12, 2011 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. eric

    Baaaa

    February 12, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. almas

    Mubarak was not a bad president. The ungrateful Egyptians will come to regret this when he is replaced by a fundamentalist leader, maybe not right away but in the near future. Lets hope Egypt will not become the next Iran or Afghanistan.

    February 12, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • ohreally

      Do you live in Egypt?

      February 13, 2011 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  14. eric

    Isn't King Tuk the guy who sells hemroid pads?

    February 12, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Roger Garrett

    I think the Egyptian tourism industry should adopt the slogan "Come, Experience Freedom!".

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