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Snapshot: Egypt, Tourism and Islam Today

Snapshot: Egypt, Tourism and Islam Today

In spite of the apparent calm in Egypt after the historic “overthrow” of the Mubarak regime, travel, a major source of income for the country, has not recovered.

While some cruise lines have reinstated Egypt as a port of call, travel to the North African country is stagnant.

Veteran Travel Weekly reporter, Nadine Goodwin just returned from the region on a  press trip with US travel professionals.

She reported that the famed pyramids of Giza, for example, which normally attract upwards of 10,000 visitors a day, had but  few tourists.

Apparently  the usual bustle of camels, horses, carriages simply didn’t exist, and the hugely popular Light and Sound Show was mostly empty.

But as we have said, the Egyptians are a very resourceful people.

Amr El-Ezabi , the director of the Egyptian Tourism Authority is reportedly already marketing Tahrir Square, the heart of the historic uprising, as a product that “helped push Egypt to Democracy”.

El-Ezabi told Goodwin that he senses a tourism rebound among Europeans, and at least the country’s tourism problems stem from a positive event, not something negative like terrorism.

Interestingly, according to an Associated Press report on Newser  most Egyptians want their laws to be affected by and linked to the holy Quran.

But, overall, they are quite moderate in their religious outlook.

And while newly-liberated Islamic parties are poised  make gains in upcoming elections, Egyptians are not prepared to swap democracy for religious extremism

At the same time, only about 20% of egyptians look favorably upon the United States and, Newser reported, half of Egyptians polled wanted to annul the 1979 peace accord with Israel.

Neither polling result bodes well for a recovery of the country’s  critical tourism industry.

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