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. **me**

    Giving tips on how limber you are again, eric?

    February 13, 2011 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
  2. eric

    We all buy them one way or another. I buy them with fine steaks, good wine, travel, and entertainment. You buy them with 20 bills, or am I pricing you out of your league?

    February 13, 2011 at 1:19 am | Report abuse |
  3. eric

    Now it's time to go pleasure my lady, so enjoy your hand and imagination while I (literally) lick the lap of luxury.

    February 13, 2011 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
  4. **me**

    You assume I'm a guy. I'm not. But thanks for playing! And you were right about this, eric, this *is* humorous!

    February 13, 2011 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
  5. eric

    No I assumed you were a dike. Looks like I got it right. Enjoy that hand.

    February 13, 2011 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dead Fukkers Inc.

    Dear Customers: Our main office “FUK THE DEAD” will be closed next week, we are moving our offices to the cementery so we can give a better service to your dead relatives, our new e-mail is “motherfukker.com”, we will send you our new weekly bulletin “Time To Die”, were you’ll find all the names of the dead that were fuked, and who fuked them, this new service is bought to you by our affilliate “DEAD SOUL FUKERS”, thank you, and fuk you. Regards. Mr. Dead Dik. CEO

    February 13, 2011 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
  7. **me**

    You assumed wrong once again, but you can't wim them all. You can't win any!

    February 13, 2011 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
  8. **me**

    Have fun with you're imaginary lady, the one you just conjured out of a box sent in a plain brown wrapper. Eric, been nice sparring with you!

    February 13, 2011 at 1:30 am | Report abuse |
  9. **me**

    Sherri, I couldn't agree with you more. I really don't think there's any country in the Middle East that's pro-western, although they may just pay lip service to get financial aid from the very country they condemn on a regular basis. Me? Not going anywhere near the ME! If I want to see the sights they offer, I'll rent a travel dvd, thanks!

    February 13, 2011 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
  10. dave

    no question that the political unrest scared away tourists. but how violent are "images of men on horseback storming Cairo's Tahrir Square armed with whips'??? look up youtube yourself. Were they hitting people with whips or trying to run over people with horses? were they bringing guns and arrows and swords attacking people? doesn't look like it to me. What happens after those men got dragged off their horses look more violent to me. Did the reporter talk to tourists or people planning to travel to Egypt? Were they scared because of men on horses with whips?

    February 13, 2011 at 1:46 am | Report abuse |
  11. John Hu

    get free china now its your turn.

    February 13, 2011 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
  12. Bob1

    It always amazes me, especially coming from Egyptians, that they expect everything to work in harmony, without having to earn it or disturbances to take place, as if freedom would come for free. Duuuuuuhhhhhhhhhhhhh – that's going against life's nature. No wonder, why things never added up in Egypt, and that's why millions of people left the country throughout the past several decades. Thousands years of civilization wasted, with down the drain results....what a petty.

    February 13, 2011 at 2:15 am | Report abuse |
  13. Sgt 2TUFF

    No one get their panties in a bunch, our Dynamic Duo of Obama/Hillary are hard at work counting out the trillions needed for the Egyptian BAILOUT. Its all for the sake of Democracy, Remember that while your kids go hungry.......

    February 13, 2011 at 2:16 am | Report abuse |
    • brucemo

      We were giving them billions in food aid when REAGAN was in office.

      February 13, 2011 at 2:42 am | Report abuse |
  14. WhatThe

    The tourists will return before you know it. That is if the world see's progress towards actual democracy.

    February 13, 2011 at 2:17 am | Report abuse |
  15. Bob1

    Can someone tell this guy that "Freedom would not come for free" and for him to "wake up and smell the coffee". Him making money with no interruptions, when millions around him have been suffering for the past 30 years, seems to be what matters to him most. In other words, the hell with everyone else as long as I'm making the big bucks. What an self-centered idiot.

    February 13, 2011 at 2:33 am | Report abuse |
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