Is it really because of the travel warnings?

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Is it really because of the travel warnings?

Post by Glyphdoctor » Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:19 pm

So many seem to believe that if they can just get the travel warnings lifted, the tourists will come streaming back in droves. But after reading this article, you might start to wonder otherwise:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/trave ... nings.html

If only 1 in 20 tourists is put off by travel warnings, and we have 2.5 percent occupancy, then why aren't the other 92.5% tourists coming to Luxor?



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Re: Is it really because of the travel warnings?

Post by Mad Dilys » Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:12 pm

I am a great believer in windows of opportunity moving relentlessly and the window of opportunity for Luxor as a tourist centre may either have past ............... or perhaps not yet arrived?

In the past Egyptian Government's Tourist ministry had a Great Plan which would have taken at least 20 or 30 years to bring to fruition. Their idea seems to have been to strike while the iron was hot so to speak, with the popularity of so many of the mediterranean holiday centres draining ever eastwards from Spain for Sun Sea and Sand which I will say quite shamelessly that Egypt has in Spades.

The development of inland resorts was going to be far more expensive and would take much more time, because of the fragility of the archeological environment and the poor infrastructure.

The cruise industry was always something that had a fairly reliable tourist base that could be closed down at short notice, and started again at short notice. By and large it was also self supporting.

Sooooo in the light of the above I will answer Glyphdoctor's question with one of my own. Was or will Luxor ever be a suitable mass tourist destination?

In my opinion no. The few decades of lots of tourists was a blip caused by new travellers stretching their traveling legs and seeing what suited the majority. The majority have less money in their pockets and are far more selective in their choice of holiday. Luxor is not and never has been an ideal family holiday resort. 8)
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Re: Is it really because of the travel warnings?

Post by HEPZIBAH » Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:20 pm

Not read the article but I don't believe there is or ever was just one reason. Here are a few, and for many people it may one of these, a combination of these, or any one of other countless reasons:

Many of the people put off by travel warnings, not wanting to miss out on a holiday altogether, have booked elsewhere.

Flights at the moment are almost non existent from the UK and other countries.

Many people just do not have the money in their pocket for holidays at the moment or are looking for cheaper holidays.

Fear of the MB going underground - by that I mean fear of attacks specifically aimed at tourists and tourism.

There may be some deals to be had but overall prices have not dropped to encourage tourism back. (An expectation many had.)

Concern over shortages of fuel - gas, electricity, water shortages etc.

Fear of travel disruption once in the country.

Worry that sites they wish to visit will not be open.


And the list goes on.
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Re: Is it really because of the travel warnings?

Post by Bombay » Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:43 pm

Glyphdoctor wrote:So many seem to believe that if they can just get the travel warnings lifted, the tourists will come streaming back in droves. But after reading this article, you might start to wonder otherwise:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/trave ... nings.html

If only 1 in 20 tourists is put off by travel warnings, and we have 2.5 percent occupancy, then why aren't the other 92.5% tourists coming to Luxor?
Because if they did want to come here as regular tourists via package holiday as most do they cannot because no one is selling holidays let alone flights.

I have said many times that Luxor suffered for two and a half years after a 3 week adverse travel advisory and never recovered but kept declining struggling to reach 25% most of the time.
Luxor is not going to recover overnight from what is now a 3 month ban.

Already this winter looked to be pretty awful before 30th June with only one major UK company operating a programme that has now been put back to next March at the earliest.

Thomas Cook Mainland Europe was already looking as to whether to continue Luxor from October.

Flights from other European countries had also been cut this winter and will now be cut even more.

Many issues in the town need to be addressed not just lifting travel bans.
First and foremost the Caleches who I blame for nearly single handedly destroying much of the tourism to the town especially repeat visitors.
I witnessed another example last night and there are next to no tourists but still the old habits never die.

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Re: Is it really because of the travel warnings?

Post by Bombay » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:13 pm

Reading the article proves it to be mostly nonsense any tourist traveling to Luxor knows the Travel Advice is there because easyJet told them while they were still flying and the others were told when their holiday was cancelled.

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Re: Is it really because of the travel warnings?

Post by Brian Yare » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:17 pm

Bombay wrote:Reading the article proves it to be mostly nonsense any tourist traveling to Luxor knows the Travel Advice is there because easyJet told them while they were still flying and the others were told when their holiday was cancelled.
Slow down, Bombay, and punctuate. Or expand sufficiently that we mere mortals can follow your train of thought.

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Re: Is it really because of the travel warnings?

Post by Bombay » Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:25 pm

Reading the article proves it to be mostly nonsense.
Any tourist traveling to Luxor knows the Travel Advice is there.
easyJet told them while they were still flying and offered a refund or change of destination and the others were told when their holiday was cancelled by Thomson.
It was also repeated about the Travel Advice to Egypt in most news articles especially the BBC who of course got the advice wrong and listed the whole country!

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Re: Is it really because of the travel warnings?

Post by LovelyLadyLux » Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:06 am

Interesting article and the real answer as to why tourists are not flocking back is going to be elusive for awhile. IMO there are lots of factors at play in the world that could be influencing people re: holiday decisions. World economy, cut backs in jobs/hours/wages at home, political climate, competition from other countries offering more for less, trending changes in tourism itself that Luxor doesn't compete for (i.e. eco tourism), non-existant family tourism opps in Luxor and on and on and on. I think there are lots of contributing factors that are at play right now however I do believe the political unrest as shown on TV as this brings it right into the livingroom of your home to be seen by all is one of the prime factors that affects decisions.

Do I believe the average travellors looks up FCO advice as a solo factor to consider - no. I think the reasons are cumulative and I do believe newbie tourists to Luxor may experience everything stated on here - hassle, scams, electric cuts etc which also make them NON-repeating tourists if their initial Luxor experience was less than positive.

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Re: Is it really because of the travel warnings?

Post by pdmlynek » Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:51 am

This has come up on Tripadvisor a couple of days ago.

What surprised me about posts by European tourists on Tripadvisor on Egypt, was how much they worried and cared about what the their government foreign offices are telling them about traveling in foreign countries. The Telegraph article shows that actually few people consider the travel advice that their government puts out.

In the US, I doubt if even 10% of travelers read what the US government recommends. Not that I blame US travelers. The travel advise is mixed for almost all countries. Even the safest countries get mixed reviews; just look at what they same about Germany or Great Britain. I wish that there would be some sort of a translator that would convert the travel advise put out by the State Department into something: "Yeah, go and have fun!"; "Go, but be careful"; "Are you f***ng crazy?"
I am an experienced traveler, but a newbie to the Middle East.

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Re: Is it really because of the travel warnings?

Post by Glyphdoctor » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:25 am

pdmlynek wrote:This has come up on Tripadvisor a couple of days ago.

What surprised me about posts by European tourists on Tripadvisor on Egypt, was how much they worried and cared about what the their government foreign offices are telling them about traveling in foreign countries.
Well, Trip Advisor is a bit hard to judge by since they warn you about the danger of Egypt at the top of every Egypt related page. You can't go to Trip Advisor and NOT know there are warnings out there.

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Re: Is it really because of the travel warnings?

Post by Glyphdoctor » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:30 am

Bombay wrote:Reading the article proves it to be mostly nonsense any tourist traveling to Luxor knows the Travel Advice is there because easyJet told them while they were still flying and the others were told when their holiday was cancelled.
If they had already booked, then they had made up their mind to go to Egypt, warning or no warning, and if they contacted EasyJet to book and found Egypt not available, they had already made up their mind to go. Granted, EasyJet dropping Egypt is part of the problem, but by time someone calls EasyJet, they've already made their decision to go.

That said, TUI is doing quite well this season since they dropped Egypt. It has not impacted their bottom line, except in a positive way, so that shows Egypt is replaceable without harming the foreign tour operators.

But then that shows the mistake of the Egyptian tourism industry relying on others to do the marketing and selling for them, when those others have other products that they can sell instead without losing money. Egypt is just a commodity to them.

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Re: Is it really because of the travel warnings?

Post by Dusak » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:34 am

In my opinion if you want to live here, like us still existing die hard's, Luxor has everything for you. If you want to holiday here, Luxor has lost everything that it used to offer you, except the sun.
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Re: Is it really because of the travel warnings?

Post by LivinginLuxor » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:18 am

When I last looked, the temples were still there, the tombs were also there and there were museums and hotels - so what has Luxor lost? Visitors will still come to see them, but not in the huge numbers that the package holiday companies were delivering in the tourist boom (or as I prefer it, blip) of about 30 years.
I might agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong!
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Re: Is it really because of the travel warnings?

Post by dsaxelby » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:44 am

LivinginLuxor wrote:When I last looked, the temples were still there, the tombs were also there and there were museums and hotels - so what has Luxor lost? Visitors will still come to see them, but not in the huge numbers that the package holiday companies were delivering in the tourist boom (or as I prefer it, blip) of about 30 years.
The difference in our holiday October 2012 to Luxor to our last trip in August is immeasurable.

There were only 4 people at the Sofitel, which made the hotel feel creepy, restaurants had perhaps only one other couple or were empty. A lot of the shops in the Souk were closed, cruise boats blocked the view of the Nile and so on.

Personally, I prefer it quiet, the Egyptians getting on with the normal bustle of life but as a Tourist it lacks the atmosphere, entertainment, ( be it just people watching ), it's buzz shall we say.
It is what it is.

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Re: Is it really because of the travel warnings?

Post by Kaiserbernese » Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:29 am

I don't think Luxor has lost anything other than visitors.

I am a regular annual visitor. I have been searching for weeks to find a way to get there, as all the charters and Easyjet have cancelled their routes. I now find I can fly from Manchester with Egyptair via Cairo, so all I'm waiting for is the FO to lift the travel advisory for Luxor. I have to take notice of this because of my insurance policy, as an independent traveller I need to know that I'm fully covered.

Other than that, I am really looking forward to my trip, my hotel has been booked since I left in January!

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Re: Is it really because of the travel warnings?

Post by Chocolate Eclair » Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:14 pm

I think on this occasion both Glyph and H have got the reason in hand and stated valued points. On Forums and other internet sites they can read all about power and water cuts, along with travel disruptions. I have always been a big believer in putting the infrastructure of a Tourist Area first, get this right and eventually the rest will follow.

Lets ask ourselves the following

Would you as a tourist be happy with regular power and water cuts to your self catering holiday? Not being able to shower when you want, not being able to have AC on during the heat, etc etc.

Would you be happy to have to walk on the roads dodging traffic that is not regulated, due to the proper walking areas being in poor condition? ie Slabs missing, Kerbs where you need a ladder to get up and down, risen manhole covers that can trip you up, and litter and spit pools that you have to wade through in certain areas. (Its no good cleaning the Cornishe up), tourists use TV street and many other areas.

Would you be happy stuck on a train for hours on end because there are protesters blocking the line?

These are only 3 things, there are many others, that would effect a tourist from the Western World. I am looking at things that have gone on and not been dealt with for ages, even when I was a tourist, we had to walk on the roads, we did not have power cuts because the Hotel we stayed in had two power supplies if one was off the other kicked in

Yes in some respects it would be nice to see the return of the tourist, but you have to be able to make them feel comfortable outside the Hotels. Many tourists walk and love shopping, how would they feel walking past the remains of a burnt out hotel, and shop, both in an area where tourists frequents.

Imagine being on a coach going to the VOK and Hatchepsutes Temple, that has to maneuver through massive pot holes and high risen speed bumps that some vehicles cannot even negotiate, at the checkpoint on the West Bank side of the Horus Bridge, or in fact the East side too. Back braking and jolts your breakfast back to your mouth.

I do have to praise though the gardeners and the men making a great job of the tree lines along the Movenpick Road, they are colourful and look appealing, also to the men who have planted extra tree's and shrubs along the Horus bridge. :br: :br: Such small and cost effective things that make Luxor colourful and appealing. Maybe these men should look after the roundabouts and do the weeding that has overtaken many of them.

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Re: Is it really because of the travel warnings?

Post by Glyphdoctor » Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:36 pm

All good points CE, but is the potential visitor who has never visited before even aware of power cuts and broken tiles in the street? I doubt it.

However, there is another factor that I have noticed in reading news stories about Egypt that may or may not be about tourism per se. If you look at the comments sections in these articles, the most prominent theme that you see of people mentioning why they don't want to visit Egypt usually has to do with the fact that this is a Muslim country. They express it in different ways, but that basically is what it boils down to. And usually these are the comments that get the most thumbs up as well.

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Re: Is it really because of the travel warnings?

Post by LovelyLadyLux » Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:43 pm

Glyph's comment has made me think that of late (and by 'of late' you can insert your own date from the past few years) Muslims in general have been getting a pretty bad rap. I'm NOT by any stretch saying ALL MUSLIMS are bad etc just that the radical ones have hit the news media pretty big around the world in a myriad of ways most of which are not good. Kinda started really came to the forefront with 9/11. Lately MOST of the News here unless it is talking about whatever Obama and his Democrats vs Republicans are up to centers around whatever the latest terrorist attack has been and the constant News hammering away that Muslim terrorists are striking and killing isn't exactly making the average Joe wanting to take the family to a Muslim country.

IMO I highly doubt new tourists to Egypt or Luxor are even thinking 'infastructure' and that there might be no A/C in the middle of the day or sidewalks are not walkable or that they'll be constantly hassled by locals. I'm not sure this type of think has even crossed their mi and - BUT - soon as it dawns on them that they'd be going to a Muslim country I'm betting "Al Q" and "terrorists" and "political turmoil" any recent newspaper headline you want to insert that comes to mind from the street attack and gruesome chopping up of British soldier Lee Rigsby to the latest Nairobi Mall attack. Is this where you really want to take the little woman and the kids? The non-Muslim perception of a Muslim, non-English speaking country is influencing and swaying travel decisions.

I think that the travel warnings are one small reason why some seasoned tourists are not returning but I think there are far greater and more complex reasons New tourists will stop coming to Egypt.

The country has lots to overcome to get itself back on track re: tourists and its own people too.

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Re: Is it really because of the travel warnings?

Post by Dusak » Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:43 pm

LivinginLuxor wrote:When I last looked, the temples were still there, the tombs were also there and there were museums and hotels - so what has Luxor lost? Visitors will still come to see them, but not in the huge numbers that the package holiday companies were delivering in the tourist boom (or as I prefer it, blip) of about 30 years.
It's lost, for me, it's feel good factor, in regards to its tourists. The ones I know that have visited over the last two years or so have so stated. It's lost it's sense of security, the open invite that allowed visitors to wander safely and without concern it's streets anytime during the day or night. It has nothing to do with the Temples and Tombs as well you know Stan, they are, to a certain extent, irremovable. It was always planed to create the worlds largest open air museum, instead the problems have created the worlds largest empty space, devoid of the very commodity that generated its life force.
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Re: Is it really because of the travel warnings?

Post by pdmlynek » Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:13 pm

Chocolate Eclair wrote: ....
Lets ask ourselves the following

Would you as a tourist be happy with regular power and water cuts to your self catering holiday? Not being able to shower when you want, not being able to have AC on during the heat, etc etc.

Would you be happy to have to walk on the roads dodging traffic that is not regulated, due to the proper walking areas being in poor condition? ie Slabs missing, Kerbs where you need a ladder to get up and down, risen manhole covers that can trip you up, and litter and spit pools that you have to wade through in certain areas. (Its no good cleaning the Cornishe up), tourists use TV street and many other areas.

Would you be happy stuck on a train for hours on end because there are protesters blocking the line?

These are only 3 things, there are many others, that would effect a tourist from the Western World. I am looking at things that have gone on and not been dealt with for ages, even when I was a tourist, we had to walk on the roads, we did not have power cuts because the Hotel we stayed in had two power supplies if one was off the other kicked in
....
All of these things cost money. I do not think that there is anyone who wold think that it would not be worthwhile to fix the infrastructure, roads, give people of Luxor lessons in "appropriate behavior", or whatever, but where are you going to get the money?

Personally, when I travel in developing world, I know that things are NOT going to be the same as home. That part of the travel. I fully expect poor traffic, or dirty streets, or being stuck on the train. I think that it would be naive and paternalistic that things would work in a poor country as they would in Germany, or Great Britain.

All that I really would like have is for the sites to be open, and to allow photography. I'd be happy to pay a 100 Pound "photographer" license.
I am an experienced traveler, but a newbie to the Middle East.

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