Unrest delivers huge blow to Egypt tourism
CAIRO (AP) - Mr Heshmat Youssef used to make a decent living sailing foreign tourists down Egypt's Nile River. Since political unrest flared, business has dried up faster than water in the desert.
Riots and killings that spiked after the Aug 14 crackdown against followers of ousted President Mohammed Mursi have delivered a severe blow to Egypt's tourism industry, which until recently accounted for more than 11 per cent of the country's gross domestic product and nearly 20 per cent of its foreign currency revenues.
The chairman of the Egyptian Airports Company, Gad el-Karim Nasr, said arrivals at Egyptian airports have dropped by more than 40 per cent from Sunday through Tuesday compared to the same time the previous week. He said that in the same time-frame, 13,000 tourists, mostly from Germany and Italy, have left the Red Sea resorts of Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada - with only 3,000 new arrivals.
With governments in the US and Europe advising their citizens to avoid Egypt, the impact threatens the livelihood of the one in eight Egyptians who earn their money from tourism.