Miss Mabrouk of Egypt

Check the archives too - a lot of good stuff to enjoy. Me myself? Off to new adventures in the blogosphere, if time permits.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

WTO: Red Sea Tourism to Suffer Acutely

It is not the first time Egypt is hit by terrorism and unfortunately, it seems like targeting the tourism industry will remain fashionable among those who either just seek to topple the government or also has a larger Islamist agenda. The attack in Sharm El-Sheikh was the deadliest ever in Egypt. How bad is the damage to the tourism industry?
“The Red Sea area targeted by the attacks is set to suffer acutely.” …“The impact on the region concerned will be strong, it will be medium for the rest of Egyptian tourism and barely noticeable on worldwide tourism,” said the head of the WTO yesterday.

Another analyst is predicting Egypt will loose $2 billion this fiscal year. That would be almost one third of the annual foreign income from tourism. Egypt’s government finds that ridiculous:
“Of course the attacks will have an impact, but I feel the industry will rebuild very quickly because of the recent pattern of bombings around the world,” the minister of tourism told AP. "People are no longer shocked by these things."

Is that a spin or wishful thinking? I am not sure of either. Egypt knows very well that in most instances, tourists will arrive almost whatever happens. It is the oldest and most famous holiday destination, after all. It was not that easy though, in the years following the Luxor attack: after 1997, the market was dead. But as the minister of tourism says, we are not in 1997, the world has moved on. Even if it sounds brutal, travelers know that it is not only Egypt any more that is targeted by radical Islamists.

In fact, it was only in the past two years that the market fully recovered. That is largely due to a strategy to cater for a new breed of tourists. The country has successfully built up leisure destinations that is complementing Egypt’s traditional portfolio of history- and adventure travel. Package tourism is seeking the sun and the beach as well as value for the money, if not the cheapest prices period. Egypt has all this in resorts that are often brand new. Europe is only a few hours away. It might just be that Egypt’s new leisure-tourism market has grown so fast in the past two years that it takes much more than this attack to stop it.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home