Egypt revival awaits political certainty

Egypt revival awaits political certainty
By admin

Egypt’s economy may have bounced back from last year’s civil unrest, but its tourism industry hasn’t been quite so lucky.

Visitation figures took a 29% dive in the last quarter of 2011, falling from 4.2 million in October-December 2010 to 2.9 million over the same period last year, the government's Central Agency for Statistics revealed this month. 

Australian tourism operators have felt the trend first hand, with operators specialising in areas affected by last year’s violent uprisings – Egypt, Syria and Libya – seeing numbers drop as a result.

Tour operator Active Travel spokesman Richard Mole confirmed that the company’s bottom line had been affected owing to “uncertainty” following the political uprising.

“No one quite knows what the future holds,” he said, adding that most of the uprisings had occurred in Cairo – the main gateway for Australians. “This tends to be a bit off-putting.”

Mole remained optimistic the situation would change, but admitted it would “take time” for Egypt to shed its tarnished image.

“But I personally have great faith in the Egyptian people, who are intensely nationalistic and really do want things to improve,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian Embassy expects revival is on the cards in 2012, with political certainty likely to return in the coming months.

Noting that presidential elections would be compete in June, Embassy spokesperson Mariko Tanabe said it was likely a tourism spike would follow later this year.

“Hopefully we can get back to normal in both the summer and winter seasons,” Tanabe told Travel Weekly.

In the meantime, the embassy is recommending Nile Cruise packages which bypass some of the more troubled sites.

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