27 October 2016
AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook
Geographic areas

  • > Africa
  • > Central Asia
  • > Europe
  • > Middle East
  •    - Bahrain
  •    - Iran
  •    - Iraq
  •    - Israel
  •    - Jordan
  •    - Kuwait
  •    - Lebanon
  •    - Oman
  •    - Palestine
  •    - Qatar
  •    - Saudi Arabia
  •    - Syria
  •    - Turkey
  •    - United Arab Emirates
  •    - Yemen
  • > Nord America
  • > North Asia
  • > South Asia
  • > South East Asia
  • > South West Asia
  • > Sud America
  • > East Asia

  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

    » 07/19/2012, 00.00


    Islamism and insecurity leave Egyptian Red Sea beaches empty

    Seventeen months after the fall of Mubarak, tourist executives lament a 70 per cent drop in the number of visitors. Tourist operators call on President Morsi not to islamise beach resorts. Tourists to Egypt in the first five months of this year were down 26 per cent from 2010 with earnings down 24 per cent.

    Cairo (AsiaNews/Agencies) - For more than a year, Red Sea resorts have struggled with near empty beaches, silent hotels, shops and malls as well as idle barmen and waiters. What was once the pearl of Egypt's tourist industry, now is but a shadow of its former self since Mubarak's fall 17 months ago. Tourist executives are pessimistic, and look with fear at the new Egypt under the Muslim Brotherhood. Meanwhile, Egypt's new rulers have not yet said what they would do with alcoholic beverages, bikinis, mixed swimming pools and dance clubs.

    "My business has shrunk by at least 70 per cent in the past year," said Waleed, a businessman in Sharm el-Sheik." "Egypt," he explained, "lives on tourism. I think Morsi wants to islamise tourism in the long run, but for the next few years he won't do anything because people need to eat."

    In fact, the Brotherhood's 81-page election programme does not mention beach tourism, which brings in the most tourist dollars by far. Officials in the movement have said they have other priorities for now, dismissing the sector as marginal with few jobs. However, the party does promise to encourage alternatives-cultural, ecological and medical tourism, and desert excursions.

    Industry professionals disagree. They say beach holidays make up as much as 80 per cent of Egyptian tourism. Before the current drop, the country was a serious rival to countries like Spain and Turkey as a sunny getaway for millions of cost-conscious Europeans.

    Some 12 to 15 per cent of Egypt's workforce caters to the needs of foreign visitors, directly or indirectly. Tourism accounts for 11 per cent of gross domestic product and a quarter of foreign exchange earnings, economist Samir Makary said. Most importantly, it has offered jobs to a fast-growing population that stagnating manufacturing was unable to absorb.

    As the Arab spring unfolded, tourists began staying away, drastically reducing tourism-related employment.

    In the first five months of this year, the number of visitors to Egypt was down 26 per cent from 2010. Earnings dropped by 24 per cent.

    For Makary, in addition to the Islamist threat, political instability is another factor affecting tourism. Regular demonstrations and clashes between police and protesters, which have caused 800 deaths, have scared off tourists.

    "Travel agents and customers from the West are concerned and nervous about the safety of travel in Egypt," said Mimi Weisband, Crystal Cruises Public Relations Vice President.

    With tourist operators looking at the other side of the Red Sea, many warn of the consequences of a radical islamisation of Egypt.

    "Saudi Arabia has the best virgin beaches, with soft sands. They have plenty of airports and good roads," one industry executive said. However, "not a single tourist goes" there, "except for the Muslim pilgrimage" to Makkah.

    e-mail this to a friend Printable version

    See also

    14/01/2013 EGYPT - ISLAM
    Al-Azhar’s double game to Islamize Egypt and maintain power
    In recent years the authorities of the most important Sunni university, supported the youth of the revolution and are now with the Muslim Brotherhood. For the great scholar of Islam Fr. Samir Khalil Samir, such behavior is typical of the University, which has always supported those who govern. The new constitution based on Sharia will not transform Egypt into an Islamic state, for now. It takes advantage of the ignorance of a population that only trusts imams, all formed by al-Azhar. The document is primarily a ideological move by Islamists to appear like "real Muslims" before the Islamic world. Sharia, Islam, religion reassure the population. The future game of the Muslim Brotherhood and of Islam itself will evolve in the coming months on specific topics: jobs, the economy and development.

    16/09/2014 EGYPT
    Muslim Brotherhood leader gets life as secular pro-democracy activist gets out on bail
    Abdul Fattah, a pro-democracy activist and blogger who led the Arab spring against former Egyptian President Mubarak, had been sentenced to 15 years for violating anti-protest law. On top of their legal problems, the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood's political wing, the Freedom and Justice Party, are expelled from Qatar, which had protected so far. Turkey might be their next home.

    29/05/2012 EGYPT
    Egypt, headquarters of candidate, ex-Mubarak ally, attacked
    Shafiq Ahmed, Premier during regime, could be behind assault himself. The Electoral Commission confirms runoff between Mursi, President of the Justice and Freedom Party (Muslim Brotherhood) and Shafiq. Voting will take place June 15 to 16. Hundreds protest against election results.

    23/05/2012 EGYPT
    Egypt votes for new president amid disappointment and hope
    Challenge between Muslim or military candidates, or from Mubarak establishment. Many Christians support moderate Muslim, Abdul Moneim Aboul Fotouh. The Army tries to maintain its military and economic power. The economy suffers from few foreign investments, drop in tourism, high price of food and energy.

    29/07/2011 EGYPT
    Tens of thousands of people in Tahrir Square to protect Egypt’s Arab and Islamic identity
    Organised by Muslim parties, the peaceful protests included secular groups and Copts. Similar demonstrations are held in Alexandria and Suez. The power of the Muslim Brotherhood is growing; the group could use Ramadan for electoral purposes.

    Editor's choices

    The new bishop of Changzhi and the many voices on China-Vatican dialogue

    Bernardo Cervellera

    The ordination will take place on November 10 in the Cathedral. The bishop had been appointed by the Holy See at least two years ago. But he was waiting for the green light from Beijing. Similar situation in Chengdu. Fears for the presence of excommunicated bishops. Reconciliation between illegitimate and official bishops is not brought about by political gestures, but depends on personal and canonical procedures. A meeting between the Chinese delegation and the Vatican is not "imminent".


    Pope: the cruelty of those who kill children in Iraq “makes us weep”

    "Our hearts are shocked by the heinous acts of violence that have been committed for far too long against innocent citizens, be they Muslim, Christian or members of other ethnic groups and religions."  World Mission Day “is time of courage”.


    AsiaNews monthly magazine (in Italian) is free.


    News feed

    Canale RSScanale RSS 

    Add to Google


    IRAN 2016 Banner

    2003 © All rights reserved - AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153 - GLACOM®