Published on : Monday, March 6, 2017
For Egypt, tourism is a big thing, comprising a major part of the country’s economy. There are many famous attractions worth seeing here like the pyramids of ancient kings like Khufu and Khafre and the tomb of Tutankhamun in Luxor. Tourists come to Egypt, since they are enthralled by its ancient 7000 years old history.
Foreign tourists to Egypt once exceeded 14 million a year and this brought a lot of foreign currency as revenue. However, in spite of tourism fetching a lot in terms of revenue for Egypt and has supported the livelihood of more than 80% of Luxor’s residents, its governor is prioritizing the promotion of agriculture and energy industries. This decision is mainly due to terrorist attacks in recent times, which resulted in number of tourists going down and tour guides halting their businesses. Added to the extremist attacks were political turmoils.
Last year, foreign tourists were about 30% lower and many hotels were put up for sale. Many were jobless in Luxor, with unemployment rate shooting up to 25%. The governor of Luxor feels that tourism is an unreliable sector, and hence, his decision to promote agriculture has deepened. In Egypt as a whole, the number of foreign tourists last year fell by about 70% compared with peak years before the turmoil. Although tourist numbers are increasing gradually, shortage of foreign currency reserves continues.
People in Egypt are struggling with the rising cost of living and now, anxieties are spreading further throughout the global tourism industry over the election of the new US President. The UNWTO has criticized Trump’s decision to restrict people from seven countries to the US, saying it will damage profits in the tourism industry and have a negative impact.