Although the Egyptian uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak in February this year was largely peaceful, the occasional flare up in violence afterwards has scared foreign tourists away. Television pictures of violent clashes between the army and civilian protesters which left many dead on the streets of Cairo have dented the image of Egypt as a safe place, a tourist paradise with both ancient culture and sunny beaches.
Millions of tourists visit Egypt every year, including more than 300,000 from the U.S. in 2008, the most recent year for which there is data. The money they spent last year represented 13 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. According to the government tourist board, their numbers dropped by 80 percent after the revolution, depriving the millions of Egyptians who work in the industry of their livelihood. Cairo — being the centre of political power and the revolution — was worst hit and the industry has not recovered.
The Egyptian Museum, sans crowds
Waiting for tourists
Pyramids of doubt