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. Lilarose in Oregon

    Those horses in the picture are underfed and have sores on their bodies. I imagine the whips are used regularly. Maybe the wrong "animal" was neutered.

    February 13, 2011 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  2. eric

    Use your handgun and shoot off their teabags!

    February 13, 2011 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  3. eric

    Only pulling down $300k a year, but who's counting. That's right, you are!

    February 13, 2011 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      it is a blog you shoulda said only million trillion zillion a year!

      ...but who's counting?

      February 13, 2011 at 4:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. eric

    And the rat squad at the IRS.

    February 13, 2011 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. eric

    Frogs always win!

    February 13, 2011 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  6. Kruno

    Why do you charge a crowd with horses, huh? why you do that, you stipid?

    February 13, 2011 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  7. eric

    Right Lila?

    February 13, 2011 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  8. eric

    I'm sure its King Kut.

    February 13, 2011 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  9. james

    The guys on horseback with whips was Egypt's version of a drive-by straight outta Compton.

    February 13, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
  10. eric

    They need some midget camels for lowriders to make it more exciting.

    February 13, 2011 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mike in WA

    Yes because all the looting and riots in the first days of the protests didn't scare anyone away.

    February 13, 2011 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  12. eric

    One hump or two?
    Are you allowed to use the word hump on a CNN blog?
    A yeah, anything goes with the Camel News Nitwits.

    February 13, 2011 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  13. *****Quatchi (Canada's forest sasquatch)*****

    *******************************
    I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO RETURNING TO A BETTER EGYPT AS A TOURIST SOON.
    I WAS THERE IN 1999 AND IT WAS NOT VERY ENJOYABLE BECAUSE OF MUBARAK'S CORRUPTION.

    ANYWAY, EGYPTIANS NEED JUSTICE AND NOT CORRUPTION FROM AN EVIL MAN STEALING THE TOURISM REVENUES.
    THE TOURISM REVENUES WENT TO MUBARAK AND FAMILY BEFORE THIS PEOPLE'S REVOLUTION.

    February 13, 2011 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
  14. eric

    They need that money for the finer things in life. Flying carpets aren't cheap you know, just ask Lila.

    February 13, 2011 at 12:52 am | Report abuse |
  15. **me**

    eric, dude, why are you soooooo snarky? Guess 300 grand a year doesn't buy happiness at all, does it?

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