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. Bahgat Gayed

    Thanks for CNN great covering about Egypt
    Congratulations to Egypt. I am proud of all the heros that participated in this revolution especially Wael Ghonim.
    can you give credit to Obama for encouraging young people to start such a revolution? Listen to his speech from 2009 on his visit to Cairo, he was talking to young Egyptians to start this revolution. starts at min 6:30 on this Youtube video :

    February 13, 2011 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. eric

    Obama? What a joke. Thanks for a good laugh to start the day!

    February 13, 2011 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  3. personny

    Israel is becoming a nation.

    February 13, 2011 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
  4. Cesar

    ...........................Go King Tutankhamun!........................

    February 13, 2011 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Redford

      Bought himself a condo made of stona...

      February 13, 2011 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. alan

    There are hordes of egyptians that depend on tourists, practically swarm them at the sites. When they're that desperate, what do you think they'll do when they do see a few tourists come by? This is what happens when a society controlled by a fundamentalist theocratic ideology promotes population explosion via polygamy, early marriage, and keeps them in poverty.

    February 13, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Amr Shamala

    cnn being one of the most trustable news channels please stop this rubbish kind of articles you need to be selective in what you write and what you publicized otherwise you will start loosing people again

    February 13, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JJsMom

    Air Fares would probably be too High.......

    February 13, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Cesar

    @raven/count me in, I'm in, PETT

    February 13, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |

    did they tear ' like kids tear there toys up or did they tear like cry?

    February 13, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |

    Screw the WHOLE middle east. I wouldn't set foot over there for anything.

    February 13, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |

      even for a scooby snack? how about 2 scooby snacks?

      February 13, 2011 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  11. steve

    the only thing this poll proved is we have 23% of us are hard core liars

    February 13, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Redford

    Now that it's over? Who's fooling who?

    February 13, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. James Li

    While in Egypt, I often had to separate an Egyptian into two parts: One part is the human side with human concerns, loving families, and great dreams. The other part of the same person is the business side that will do almost anything possible to separate the foreigner from his dollars (or Egyptian pounds). I tried not to take it personally, even when (for example) every historical site demanded $30 in order to use a video camera or $5 to use a regular camera.

    A crash in the tourist industry for a while will be good for Egypt. It may make the Egyptians appreciate the tourists more and abuse or cheat them less in the future.

    February 13, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  14. John

    this is all CNN can say about the slumping tourist industry in Egypt? Sad.

    February 13, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Cesar

    People are calling me names, re/tard and moron. Just because of my opinion. I'm going to stay in my room.

    February 13, 2011 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse |
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