Luxor tourism hit by lack of security...

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Luxor tourism hit by lack of security...

Post by LivinginLuxor » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:41 am

I'm back - been reading forum but not posting for a while. Found this interesting article just now, and thought I'd share it.

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The absence of security poses a significant challenge to the tourism industry in Luxor, a main tourist center in Egypt.

“Tourism police don’t provide adequate safety measures for the temples and the historic sites,” said a tour guide named Ahmed Saeed. “There were many cases of tourists being harassed in the street and the police don’t intervene.”

Since the end of January, the city’s temples have been subjected to various attacks from looters. The most prominent case was an attack at Karnak Temple in which bystanders apprehended the culprits.

However, no significant case of vandalism has been reported in Luxor – unlike Aswan, where looters attempted to steal a statue of Ramses II, but were chased away by people and guards at the site.

But in June, number of thugs attacked a residential compound for touristsin the Aswan. After destroying its wall, they were apprehended by workers in the compound.

“This is the worst scenario, to have other bloody attacks. After this incident, many tourists left the city. Tourists come here to enjoy and the first condition of enjoying is being safe. Police should appear permanently,” said Ahmed Sabry, a Luxor-based tour guide in his thirties.

The absence of police has caused tourists to disappear, say local tourist workers.

Some argue that this season is the worst tourist season since the massacre of tourists in 1997, when six men gunned down 62 people at mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut.

In addition to the weak presence of the security forces, the rise of xenophobia - especially in Cairo - and the uncertainty surrounding the political future of the nation, have taken their toll on the earnings of tourist companies.

Last month, for example, Orascom Development (OD), a builder and operator of luxury resorts reported a net loss of US$17.5 million compared to a profit of US$50.9 million a year earlier. Revenues fell by 62 percent.

Following plans to attract tourists, by which hotels reduced their rates by half, hotels occupancy rates in Sharm el-Sheikh increased to 61 percent, according Salem Saleh, chairman of the General Authority for Tourism Authority in South Sinai.

Experts believe that the increase is due to the removal of former President Hosni Mubarak from to Cairo, where he currently stands trial.

Tourism in Cairo is also hard hit, with occupancy rates declining to 40.9 percent, said STR Global, a research center which focuses on tourism and hotel occupancy.

The scene is gloomier in the recently established Savoy Market, a shopping center which contains bazaars and antiques shops.

“As you can see, most of the shops in the market are closed. I sit here in my shop for more than ten hours and don’t have one single client,” said Mansour Shafei, who works at one of the bazaars.

The same complaints can be heard in a parking area for horse drawn carriages located close to Luxor’s main Abu al-Hagag square, a few meters away from the Temple of Luxor.

“There’s no work,” Fathi Alaraby, an owner of a horse-drawn carriage told Al-Masry Al-Youm. “I fear that I won’t be able to afford food for the house, so I’ll be forced to sell the horse,” he added.

But what is “heartbreaking,” according to Mohsen Nada, an accountant, is that the ousted regime was using Luxor as a tool to market the country to foreigners. But “no attention was paid to residents of Luxor,” he said.

At Luxor Temple, the renowned Avenue of Sphinxes can be seen lacking any protection. The ousted regime had planned to launch a US$11 million dollar project to unearth and restore the ancient 2.7-kilometer avenue.

Hundreds of houses were completely demolished for the project, and many evicted families say that they did not receive compensation.

“They threw the people away, and then they left the unearthed remains without any security measures. The whole project is not working now,” said Nada.

But despite the gloomy picture, some people are finding creative ways to engage tourists in the post-Mubarak era.

Sabry, whom I met during my short visit to Luxor Temple, regularly reads English papers to follow how foreigners perceive what’s going on in Egypt.

“I need to understand what foreign media sources say about the revolution. In fact, I find it highly useful to read about the (Egyptian) revolution in English,” said Sabry. This way, Sabry feels that he is able to better engage with foreigners and fill them in on what foreign media outlets fail to tell them in regards to Egypt’s revolution.

“For the first time, I’ll tell tourists about Egypt’s current glory. I’ll speak with them about the Egyptian people’s will to demand their rights. In the past, we built this great civilization and now we’re continuing our contribution.”


Source: http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/490614


I might agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong!
Stan

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Post by chiddy » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:05 am

thank God for that - back I mean not reading
beginning to get worried
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Post by Winged Isis » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:28 am

Glad to see you back, Stan! Interesting article. What exactly does the name of tre newspaper mean?
Carpe diem! :le:

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Post by DJKeefy » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:15 am

Welcome back Stan - glad your feeling alot better now :)
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Post by Arthur » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:30 am

:hug: Good to see you back.

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Post by TonyC » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:49 am

Winged Isis wrote:What exactly does the name of tre newspaper mean?
The Egyptian Today seems the best translation. There's a bit about its history on:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-masry_Al-youm

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Post by Dave » Mon Aug 29, 2011 6:57 pm

Good to see you back Stan, looking forward to more words of wisdom.
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Post by Luxormad » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:31 pm

Nice to see you posting again Stan :)
Is it really that bad in Luxor at the moment , as i know it was empty when i came in march , but reading some of the posts on here i thought it had got a bit better month on month.
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Post by Mimimay » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:36 pm

Good to see you back Stan, we were getting worried about you and we've all missed you.
Oh yes, sorry, interesting article :oops:
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Post by Winged Isis » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:17 pm

Thanks, TC.

Luxormad, friends of mine in the above mentioned Savoy Bazaar have made only 6 sales since I left 1st February, and one of those was only 10LE! :( They are not only poor but totally bored, sitting all day with nothing to do. On top of that, it costs them for transport to and from work, food and power and rent. Disaster.
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Post by Who2 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:45 pm

Welcome back Stan, health seems in order after sinking 4 beers round my gaff in less than an hour and a half.....8)
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Post by A-Four » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:29 pm

Yes wonderful to see you back here Stan, I have already had a word with Mahkmoud and Mo to get extra Stella in at the Ram, and there is even a suggestion that they may even switch on the fridge, now that there best customer is up and about again.

The hermit of Abydos informs me that the new head of the SCA has a resonably, shall we say colourful history upto date, and will be writting about this as soon as he can sort out his 'dongle' problem. You could do a 'spoiler' as it is known in the media world, before he comes back to us.

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Post by Shareen » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:06 am

Nice to see you back Stan

Interesting article too...... not sure I agree with all of it, but interesting nevertheless!

And A-Four.... now that Stan is back maybe the Ram will do better than when I was there a couple of weeks ago.
Can you have a word and tell them that when a small group of tourists arrive, fresh from a hot and sticky walk from Workers to Nobles, they expect more on the drinks menu than Fanta and Sprite. They didn't even have tea! The nescafe had to be fetched from elsewhere and my friends had to drink that awful 3in1 stuff when they like their nescafe black, no sugar! And then they tried to charge us 36LE for one small bottle sprite, and 2 undrinkable nescafes!

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Post by BBLUX » Tue Aug 30, 2011 9:22 am

Frankly, I can see no attraction in the place whatsoever.
We used to use it for a cool drink after a Nobles walk but over the last year or so found the same as you. Even the Stella was warm!
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Post by Bearded Brian » Tue Aug 30, 2011 7:10 pm

Good job I always have 2 or 3 tea bags in my rucksack (enough for me or a very healthy profit :lol: )

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Post by Brian Yare » Tue Aug 30, 2011 10:46 pm

They will put the Stella in the food fridge (which is colder) on demand, for their best customers.

I've been known to walk out if they try to serve a bottle too warm.

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Post by A-Four » Wed Aug 31, 2011 12:21 am

It is such a shame that when the government in Egypt are demanding such high prices for the drinks outlets on the sites, hence the high price for a coffer etc, the Ram pays little or nothing for its place, it could do alot better.

In its good old days Sheikh Ali would sit there in the afternoons, telling the story of Carter etc, I am sure some of you will remember, but what alot of you will not know is that, when Sheikh Ali died, so afraid were the Ram owners that this would be detrimental to the buisness, they installed a 'new Sheikh Ali' for a further three years, God bless him, he was almost as good as the old one. Now that's what I call Upper Egyptian style.

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