This report will provide an overview of the unrest in Egypt which will follow will the suggestions and recommendations, after careful analysis of the situation, concluding if Egypt is a suitable destination for tourists at this time. Mr Mubarak’s autocratic rule was challenged by the people in Egypt recently. Anger fuelled riots and street protests broke out. However, New York times report that these kinds of protests are not new in Egypt, though this one was higher in intensity (http://topics.nytimes.com/ top/news/international/countriesandterritories/egypt/index.html – accessed on 16th February 2011).
The countrywide political protest has caused lot of businesses to remain shut, including the stock market. They are expected to reopen on the 11th February, but the news is not confirmed (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/markets/8319279/How-Egypts-businesses-coped-through-the-crisis.html – accessed on 16th February 2011). After the weeks of protest, Hosni Mubarak has resigned as Egypt’s president (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/8319816/Egypts-new-dawn.html – accessed on 16th February 2011).
What may be the aftermath?
Telegraph reports that since such a long-serving autocrat has been toppled. The transition to military rule and an absence of opposition is looked as a beginning of another crisis. There may be adverse consequences if western countries try to interfere, like it did in Iran – 30 years ago (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/8319816/Egypts-new-dawn.html – accessed on 16th February 2011).
Cairo has been the main city of attraction for the tourists. The protests were at its peak in the same city. However the rest of the country is not safe either. The absence of a government and economic crisis topped with unemployment has provoked issues like loot and robbery across the country. It is not just the normal civilians who have to bear the heat but the national antiques have not been spared. Looters stole 18 antique items and damaged 70 others from one of the museums in Cairo, on 13th February 2011 (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/8321770/Egypt-looters-raid-Egyptian-Musum-during-unrest.html – accessed on 16th February 2011).
Suggestions and recommendations:
After careful consideration and analysis from the above mentioned points, following are the recommendations for tourism in Egypt:
Egypt is not a safe place to recommend to the tourists. Though due to low demands the hotels and flights might have reduced their rates and tariffs, and tourism companies may make more profits but ethical considerations suggests that the tourists be warned and not encouraged to travel to Egypt until there are signs of peace and things settle down.
Cairo is the place which is most affected, however the protests have been country-wide so the other cities hold the potential to show the signs of unrest too.
Unemployment has been an issue and tourists carry cash and valuables. They may be attacked as the crime rate is on a rise. The safety of the tourists should be a concern on the tourism companies. As mentioned earlier, the interference of western countries like UK and the US was not appreciated by the people of Egypt. There is a high probability that these countries might interfere again to bring rest in the country which will provoke protests against foreigners. Tourists are foreigners and may face racist and hate attacks in such conditions. Hence, they must be discouraged to travel in such conditions.
The overall analysis suggests that Egypt is not suitable for tourism until things settle down and there is peace.