Egypt: Last Place on Tourism List
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK Published: March 13, 2013
A report on the international travel industry has ranked Egypt the least safe and secure of 140 tourist destinations, putting it behind Pakistan, Yemen and Chad, evidence of the toll that two years of near-constant unrest has taken on the country’s once-lucrative tourist industry.
Tourism — which has accounted for 11 percent of Egypt’s gross domestic product, economists say — has suffered more than any other industry from the street protests and political turmoil that have prevailed since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak two years ago. The report, released by the nonprofit World Economic Forum and publicized around the world, is unlikely to help. A Tourism Ministry official said the results were not a surprise, given the turmoil and the survey’s methodology, which relied heavily on a survey of executives as well as statistics like traffic accidents. Both government and industry officials say, however, that there are signs of recovery, although mainly because of bargain-hunting Red Sea beachgoers, rather than the more profitable Sphinx-and-Pyramids circuit.