Egypt’s Tourist Rankings and Employment.
The following report on Uruguay raises some odd points of relevance to the planning and management of tourism in Imperial Egypt and where Egypt ranks compared to others. It’s a serious and thorough report. Out of it you could conclude that the government public figures on Egyptian employment in tourism are either lies (very possibly) or represents the largest employment effects/over staffing from small tourism revenues in the world. An alternative is that the employment base is grossly large because wages are so low which is a sad chicken and egg argument. If its cheap buy it.
1. In Uruguay and elsewhere tourist revenues generate few jobs. For example in Uruguay $US4 billion a year generates 40,000 jobs directly, Australia employs about 500,000 in tourism with income about $US42 billion.
Egypt’s tourism revenues are about $US10 billion in terms of direct impact (45th largest in the world so down with the losers) (the higher CAPMAS revenues I think are tosh although some say its $US21 billion) with the government saying there are 7.5 million tourists (others say 8.3) down from a peak of 14.7 million, yet there are a preposterous 1.7 (others say 1.1) million full time workers in tourism and 2.4 million in tourism related sectors (2014 Egyptian figures). Egypt Today, invariably unreliable, says the average daily spend is $US85. The median figure is more useful.
https://www.wttc.org/-/media/files/repo ... pt2018.pdf and
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s ... =firefox-b
For Turkey revenues are $US35 billion (highly debatable on the al Ahram principle of the crazed leader told me to say it – could be lower), numbers 32 million tourists – 4 times more than Egypt and employment – direct and indirect – is 1.4 million direct jobs and slightly lower than Egypt whereas their industry is hugely larger.
France (95 million tourists) and Italy (55 million tourists) have fewer direct tourism jobs than Egypt but their revenues/volume/service demands of visitors are 10-20 times larger. The UK has 500,000 more direct jobs that Egypt – the Scargill after-effect – but $US340 billion in revenues and 40 million visitors. So about 50% more workers generate over 40 times the revenue. Of course the UK is more expensive and this automatically generates higher revenue, as it does in the other western places listed, but the UK is not 40 times more expensive than Egypt, on average, and, in addition, those UK workers handle 5-6 times as many tourists as the average Egyptian worker – with many just lying on the Egyptian beach without moving and not requiring much service other than empty buckets. Are UK workers 600% more efficient?
Tunisia which has its share of beach loafers requiring lesser service similar to Egypt expects about 8 million tourists this year and has 225,000 direct jobs in this sector. So its about the same number of tourists/spend as Egypt but 1/5th to 1/12th of the jobs. https://www.wttc.org/-/media/files/repo ... ia2018.pdf This makes no sense.
Something is very odd. Others make big money and handle huge volumes with fewer or slightly more workers than Egypt. Some of those volumes are high service tourists some drunken beach loafers. I think Egypt has a higher percentage of the loafer type than many other tourist venues and that means that the labor demand should be lower.
A related matter on how big is big Egypt. Two years ago the UAE revenues were $US 20 billion, Saudi $US11, Lebanon $US7, then Jordan followed by Egypt. I had not realized that Egyptian tourism was not as large in the region as it pretends. In addition most of the others are high/higher cost, high service locations providing higher skill jobs rather than just cleaning the pool or sleeping whilst on lifeguard duty. So most get much higher economic benefits out of higher volumes or much higher cash out of similar volumes. Lebanon isn’t cheap.
How can Egypt employ so many people in such an industry when others employ so few for so many tourists demanding more/same service? How can those other places charge 3-8 times as much, or the same, and support these charges with service based on so small workforces.
The World Economic Forum’s high credibility Global Competitiveness Report 16/17 states that labor market efficiency in Egypt is about the worst in the world. Relatedly they also say that Egypt, with the exception of the pits, is about the least competitive place on earth so cheap doesn’t mean efficient.
Its difficult to interpret these results except as follows. Skills are extremely low because the schools and universities are awful, vocational training options are limited and the results not worth it and companies invest almost nothing in training. In addition management is about the worst in the world – lazy, stupid, status obsessed, bullying and promoting staff for other than efficiency. Local work values may not be great. This might account for some of the overstaffing in a tourism industry that is otherwise not high service/high cost/high labor need.
Its also true that Egypt has one of the lowest female workforce participation rates in the world – and women receive an even worse education than men and have double the illiteracy. At 23% its better than Afghanistan, but not by much, Turkey is 32%, Kuwait 28%, Ethiopia 47%, South Sudan 49%, Indonesia 38%, Kenya 48% and China 44%. Little Uruguay of 4 million citizens that beat the soccer hell out of Imperial Egypt, has 45%. In general terms countries that want to go backwards keep women home and pregnant. It reduces job competition against some lazy, unpregnant, stupid men. Sane places want to get most out in the workforce – particularly the ambitious and talented. Talented women in the workforce would also reduce inefficiency and therefore overstaffing. They might even improve management – it couldn’t get any worse and they would likely be less status/deference crazed and, hopefully, ‘talk’ less.
There are other possible explanations for the disparity but its all very odd. Maybe Egypt did what its always done with figures – quadruple the employment figures out of the air so they look like the government is doing its job creation job.
An aside Marrakesh and Istanbul are in top of Trip Advisor’s voted best destinations in the world. As are 3rd world destinations in descending order, Bali, Hanoi (pretty rough), Cambodia (very problematic), Dubai, Nepal (basic), Hurghada (at the end). On another stats table there is hardly an Asian nation that has so few tourists as Egypt.
Marketing works with symbols and icons so you expect that the Pyramids would get droves. No. The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul gets 91 million, Times Square gets 50 million, Disney World 18 million, Forbidden City 15 million, St Peter’s 11 million, Sydney Opera House 8 million and the same for the Taj Mahal but nothing for Egypt in the top 50 site visits.
A few weeks ago the World Economic Forum rated Egypt as the 7th most dangerous place to go to in the world. Bangladesh, Mali, Lebanon and Chad were safer. Nigeria, Pakistan and the blood soaked Yemen were considered more dangerous – but not by much. https://www.afr.com/lifestyle/travel/wo ... 608-gwnsff
15,000 travel journalists did a list of the 100 friendliest cities in the world. Thailand and the UAE did extremely well as did Qatar and Bahrain, Lebanon and Israel were rated very high, as were Oman, India and Indonesia, Cairo got on the very bottom of the list along side extremely poor, bad infrastructure, war ravaged and blood soaked Cambodia. Russia was on the stink – as it always has been and came nearly last. Australia did as well as it deserved – poor service and high prices included. https://travelbird.nl/most-welcoming-cities/
You wonder where the hundreds of millions of marketing money goes and the several hundred overseas staff of the Supreme Touristes and the 100,000 staff of the Ministry of Tourism. Does the Ministry spend a penny on training or on developing higher cost tourist options which might require higher skill workers – good chefs for example. Maybe cutting the 300% import tariff on alcohol might help.
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