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. EdieRose

    Heres a toast to the future of Egypt and its people. May they enjoy the freedom of democracy. As Spock says "live long and prosper". I loved Egypt when I was there in 1978 and the Pyramids and Sphinx were amazing and so was King Tut.

    February 13, 2011 at 2:34 am | Report abuse |
  2. EdieRose

    Thats King Tut....Good luck to the Egyptians ...May you enjoy the democracy ...and a new life.

    February 13, 2011 at 2:36 am | Report abuse |
  3. brucemo

    I have no sympathy for those guys - they'll follow you around forever and will ignore you no matter how or how many times you ask/tell them to go away. They are the worst thing about visiting the Pyramids.

    February 13, 2011 at 2:43 am | Report abuse |
  4. steve

    unemployment is high everywhere.
    why should these blood suckers be any different!

    February 13, 2011 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
  5. Lilbit1153

    The tourists will return as the situation in Egypt stabilizes. The anti-government protesters in the square missed 18 days of work too in order to gain freedom, so it's not like the horse/camel concessionaires were the only ones not making money. To the ones that chose to ride their animals into the square..shame on you! You needlessly endangered the animal that you supposedly depend upon to make a living. How much did Mubarak's henchmen pay each of you for that little display?? Mubarak only stepped down yesterday so give it time. As someone else already said...freedom is not free...it costs everyone in one way or another. I would love to visit the Pyramids if I could afford to.

    February 13, 2011 at 3:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. raven

    Hey Cesar, We all knew what ya meant, and I never re-post ta correct a typo either. RUFFNUTT ya cracked me up as always,so did Eric. And if I didnt spell or punctuate correctly then nanny nanny boo boo.

    February 13, 2011 at 3:10 am | Report abuse |
  7. crow

    Interestingly the protestors who were against the police and mubarak got their revolution-a military government, the same police to deal with and islamic radicals to maximize liberal thoughts of society and all this in a region which is a tinderbox. Further democracy does not not solve poverty overnight as some would think. Now instead one man looting the country they will get to elect many politicians every four years to loot them for the next four years and they will live in blizz thinking that they system is working. What a history in the making..eh?

    February 13, 2011 at 3:38 am | Report abuse |
  8. Daniel

    Democracy only starts as a method of elections – it is supposed to continue with respect for human rights and life, freedom of speech especially for minority groups, and an overall peaceful and pragmatic approach to matters of state. The Nazi party was also elected via "democracy". Iraq has had us troops for several years promoting democracy – and people are being butchered daily. Democratic elections brought up the Chamas leadership with the Palestinians. People rioting for a change may look great on TV but is no assurance for the future.

    February 13, 2011 at 4:17 am | Report abuse |
  9. salama

    these people are thieves and the over weigh their own benifits over the common benifit of the Egyptian nation. getting rid of Mubarak is a historical moment, they are crying over the money they steal from tourists. 120 Euros per hour for a camel ride. Do not worry about these hourses and camels, trust me, they have enough savings to feed them. Besides, I think they should be removed from there, they are the worst thing to have around the pyramids.

    February 13, 2011 at 4:18 am | Report abuse |
  10. salama

    these people are thieves and they over weigh their own benifits over the common benifit of the Egyptian nation. getting rid of Mubarak is a historical moment, they are crying over the money they steal from tourists. 120 Euros per hour for a camel ride. Do not worry about these hourses and camels, trust me, they have enough savings to feed them. Besides, I think they should be removed from there, they are the worst thing to have around the pyramids.

    February 13, 2011 at 4:19 am | Report abuse |
  11. abofidu

    Tourism should even improve now that Egypt has once again made history as the nation that ousted a 30yr-old government without spilling blood. Tahrir Square is another historical site. A monument should be erected there.

    February 13, 2011 at 4:41 am | Report abuse |
  12. what

    The tourism industy is gone.mubarak gurantee safety from bombing and crimes.thugs now will be scared to rob tourists

    February 13, 2011 at 7:23 am | Report abuse |
  13. what

    The tourism industy is gone.mubarak gurantee safety from bombing and crimes.thugs now will not be scared to rob tourists

    February 13, 2011 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
  14. eric

    What?

    February 13, 2011 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
  15. eric

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm sure it's pronounced Ting Kut.

    February 13, 2011 at 7:48 am | Report abuse |
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