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

    No, just a good cell phone to keep the humor alive.

    February 13, 2011 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. eric

    Overuse of the vowel ooooo will cost **me** a turn. (Read the rules.)

    February 13, 2011 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  3. Rich In New Jersey

    Our tour group of about 80 people was scheduled to tour Cairo, Alexandria, Nile River, and and Luxor in Septemebr was cancelled last week. What a shame. I feel bad for the Egyptian people that make their living off tourism. But my wife is glad because the scenes of people being run over by cars and media people being accosted was too much for her. I'm sure it was only a select few. I wish the best for their country.

    February 13, 2011 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  4. **me**

    Humor. Huh.

    February 13, 2011 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  5. eric

    Don't cheat, you lost a turn.

    February 13, 2011 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  6. **me**

    My cell is giving out.the "o" sticks, so does the delete. Buy me a new one, 300 grand eric?

    February 13, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  7. eric

    I'll think about it while I finish my OpusX and fine single malt scotch.

    February 13, 2011 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
  8. Blilli

    Hopefully, Egypt will have a democratic government and all of the citizens of the country will benefit and be better off for it.

    February 13, 2011 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
  9. eric

    Just like all the citizens of our country benefit, right!!

    February 13, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  10. **me**

    While getting your date drunk by pouring that single malt on your hand.

    February 13, 2011 at 1:08 am | Report abuse |
  11. eric

    **me** you can have my blackberry if you take all the work emails that come with it.

    February 13, 2011 at 1:09 am | Report abuse |
  12. **me**

    So you're the one flying all over the world with the bands? And no thanks, it's the blackberry fooking up.

    February 13, 2011 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  13. eric

    That's the thing about money, you can get the women you want when you want them. While you continue to try, your hairy palm will have to do.

    February 13, 2011 at 1:12 am | Report abuse |
  14. eric

    You could also try yoga to see if you can bend forward enough to get some action.

    February 13, 2011 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
  15. **me**

    Sure, when you have to buy your women on the corner. And you would know all about hairy palms, wouldn't you, eric?

    February 13, 2011 at 1:16 am | Report abuse |
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