Once a world class destination, Luxor is now a ghost town

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Once a world class destination, Luxor is now a ghost town

Post by DJKeefy »

The streets are almost deserted. Luxury hotels, some with 270 rooms, are empty, except for the lonely hotel porter. Taxi drivers are waiting for customers that are not coming. Luxor, one of the world's foremost tourist destinations, is now a ghost town according to its residents.

Entirely dependent on tourism, Luxor has suffered badly from the drastic drop in visitors to Egypt since the Jasmine revolution broke out in 2011.

Numbers plummeted from over 14 million in 2010 to 9.4 million in 2011. Two million more visited in 2012, but progress has stagnated due to Egypt's ongoing political instability.

"This has been the toughest period for Egyptian tourism since they started collecting statistics 25 years ago," said Amr Abdel Ghaffar, regional director for the Middle East at the UN World Tourism Organisation.

"It's the result of political change, and of course that brings a lot of uncertainty over the whole economy and particularly on tourism," he explained.

Luxor Temple, one of the best known sites in the world, takes centre stage in town, yet now there is barely a tourist in sight.

Sectarian strife and Salafist threats against foreigners have especially affected Upper Egypt's antiquities and monuments, frightening people away. Between 2012 and 2013, the number of visitors dropped by 70 per cent.

"We depend on this money to protect and restore the monuments, to pay for the archaeologists, and of course for employment. So the lack of tourism affects us very badly," said Mansour Breek, head of Upper Egypt's Antiquities Zones

Everyone in the city has a tale of woe: from captains of cruise ships that have not sailed since 2011, to a travel agent who set up a furniture business to compensate his lack of earnings.

Mamdouh, a taxi driver, is struggling to survive these days. "I used to earn up to 300 (Egyptian) pounds every day. But now I'll have one guest and earn around 20 pounds," he says. "Sometimes my family doesn't eat in the evening because there's no money."

Tourism represents 11.3 per cent of Egypt's GDP and directly employs nearly three million people. However, for Mohamed Osman, vice president of the Luxor Chamber of Tourism, the Islamist government has done very little, especially in terms of security, despite widespread demands for action.

"The efforts of the government were negligible," he said, because the Muslim Brotherhood is embarrassed about tourism. "Some of them don't think tourism should be welcome. They don't kill it, but they leave it to die."

Source: http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Once-a-w ... 27803.html


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Re: Once a world class destination, Luxor is now a ghost tow

Post by Zooropa »

Its good to see at least one Egyptian publically call the government to task.

It looks more and more like the government are what they denied they were.

A religously motivated group of people who appear to be closer to extremism than moderism.

I regret to say i think there will be another revolution if things dont change.

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Re: Once a world class destination, Luxor is now a ghost tow

Post by carrie »

Went to the El Luxor Hotel today and it is full.

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Re: Once a world class destination, Luxor is now a ghost tow

Post by Who2 »

'I love Ghost Towns, if only it were true, make my Day....:cool:
"The Salvation of Mankind lies in making everything the responsibility of All"
Sophocles.

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Re: Once a world class destination, Luxor is now a ghost tow

Post by Chocolate Eclair »

Its the old saying, "Talking the Talk, but not being able to Walk the Walk", This subject you can talk about all day and still get nowhere, and the questions have been answered in what the man says, its stemming to the lack of Security, the staleness of Government, and the lack of enthusiasm to do anything about it. I mean for goodness sake, how many years have now past and still no Government passing and debating the way forward? I have never heard of this in my life.

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Re: Once a world class destination, Luxor is now a ghost tow

Post by Zooropa »

Yes, it puts British politics into perspective!

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Re: Once a world class destination, Luxor is now a ghost tow

Post by Chocolate Eclair »

Full of what Carrie??

You are so right "Z" the most is around 8 weeks without Government for Britain, thats mainly because it is realised that a Country cannot run or develop without a Government. At the moment without a government Egypt is destroying itself. You cannot sit back and try to please everyone, be it other Political Parties or not, or even the people, once you are voted in to run a Country you have to take the bull by the horns, make decisions popular or not, but you need to run the country and make sure the people know you are doing just that. At the moment there are too many variable things happening, that not only divide Cities they divide people.

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Re: Once a world class destination, Luxor is now a ghost tow

Post by Hafiz »

Asianews is a slightly loopy 'Catholic' website based (strange given its name) in Italy. Its credibility would probably be low and this reflected in the garbage in this article.

The article says "Salafi threats against foreigners have especially affected Upper Egypt's antiquities and monuments".

Is anyone aware of Salafi threats either in Egypt generally or in Upper Egypt?

It says "everyone in the city has a tale of woe" Is this true - has the journalist interviewed tens of thousands/done a survey?

The article also says "Mohamed Osman, vice president of the Luxor Chamber of Tourism, the Islamist government has done very little, especially in terms of security, despite widespread demands for action.

"The efforts of the government were negligible," he said, because the Muslim Brotherhood is embarrassed about tourism. "Some of them don't think tourism should be welcome. They don't kill it, but they leave it to die."

Osman should be fired for contributing to the problem. His fellow businessmen have appointed him as Vice-President to help not hinder them. You wonder what game he is playing - the slagging of Egypt sounds more like a Salvationist line than benefiting Luxor. In any case clear Government statements, new government money spent on marketing in the West and Egypt's obvious desperate need for dollars contradicts his view.

Sure the situation is bad, but, I think, not as bad as asianews or Osman states. Surely the low pound is a positive, the weather hasn't changed, its safer than most places, tourists are made welcome, there are no major diseases, the flights are short, the beer cheap, the monuments haven't moved, the beaches are good (if you like that type of thing) the hotels OK, no tourists attacked or raped (except for a few stupid Sinai 'treckers' etc. What is reported may not be all wrong but it lacks balance.

This article hits a new low and I'm sending an e-mail to asianews. I encourage others to do the same.

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Re: Once a world class destination, Luxor is now a ghost tow

Post by Bullet Magnet »

You expect balance from Catholics ? Previously known as the Holy Roman Empire. Destroying the truth for the last 2000 years..!!! Why stop now ???
I doubt that Leopard will change its spots voluntarily.. :cool:

Having said that. ALL MSM has an agenda.. Probably the reason I don't watch TV or Read Newspapers. . . ;)
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Re: Once a world class destination, Luxor is now a ghost tow

Post by Dusak »

No tourists attacked? You need to keep up with the local news on here. No tales of woe? Millions suffer on a day to day basis due to no or little money, food and general goods shortages increasing unemployment, kidnappings, murder and religious based assaults plus the loss of the tourist industry. So that covers about seventy million. The flights length is dependent on the lift off point. The beer is expensive, up to 40Le in some hotels. Regional safety is an unquantifiable number in this country as a great deal of crimes against Egyptians by Egyptians goes unreported. Your very safe here if you enjoy staying at home for far longer periods than that of past years. And if you do go out your far more likely to find your home has been burglarized when you return or you need to buy a new handbag.
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Re: Once a world class destination, Luxor is now a ghost tow

Post by Hafiz »

Dusak is it true that tourists have been attacked in Luxor or is it true that there have been thefts in the street which have ended up in violence. To me there is the world of difference between a deliberate attack on a person, where theft may result, and a theft where violence occurs but may not have been the intention. From all the posts on this forum most, if not all, would seem to be the former. Even if they are not, take a trip to NYC to see real street violence. I could be wrong on this point and I remember general references to an attack on a female tourist about 6 months ago. If so I apologize for minimising her injury.

All reliable stats say that Egypt is a relatively safe place and even though this has been debated endlessly some still try to argue in the face of all reliable statistics. Well, if anyone has some facts rather than anecdote put them forward.

There has been inter religious violence but that has not involved tourists.

Food and general goods shortages does not affect tourists.

For most European departure points flights are short - less than train travel time from London to Edinburgh.

Crimes by Egyptians against Egyptians - this is my point, it doesn't affect tourists.

My point that coverage should be balanced as well take account that Egypt is a third world country that does not exist just for tourists

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Re: Once a world class destination, Luxor is now a ghost tow

Post by Zooropa »

"Food and general goods shortages does not affect tourists."

Whilst I agree that it does not directly, the consequences of this will most certainly impact tourists.

Lack of food and money fuels crime in any society and this will inevitably impact on tourists.

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Re: Once a world class destination, Luxor is now a ghost tow

Post by Dusak »

I wasn't decrying your points Hafiz as you usually post interesting facts that otherwise remain unknown to most of us. But the way I see it tourists are impacted by all events, either indirectly or directly. I was at a meeting a few weeks ago with the British consulate representative. My lawyer phoned to apologize to say he couldn't meet me as arranged as he was at the tourist police station helping a woman tourist that had been punched in the face THEN had her handbag stolen. So the attack came first, then the theft. This has happened on a number of occasions when in the past it was a quick grab and run. What surprised me was, when I relayed this fact to the Embassy rep. she was genuinely shocked that this was happening in Luxor. She was even more surprised when told that this was now happening regularly. The Embassy was not receiving any of the police reports so asked us, the local expats, to keep her informed in relation to any future events of violence towards tourists. Not that this would help alleviate the problem in my opinion.
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Re: Once a world class destination, Luxor is now a ghost tow

Post by Hafiz »

Dusak, thank you for the info. Had not realized that the local strategy included 'attack' first thieve later - if I understand your meaning.

Attack is a word a bit like the word racism which conjures up all types of things and gets people very excited when, in fact, what is really meant is something much smaller.

I think that 'street crime', as it would be described in London or NY, is a fairer description or maybe I completely misunderstand the Luxor situation. Theft with violence would be another alternative.

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Re: Once a world class destination, Luxor is now a ghost tow

Post by Dusak »

I think that is a point of pedantic's as I view an unwarranted punch in the face leading up to a theft as a premeditated attack.
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Re: Once a world class destination, Luxor is now a ghost tow

Post by Zooropa »

If it happend to me i wouldnt give a toss how it was defined, more that it had happened!

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Re: Once a world class destination, Luxor is now a ghost tow

Post by LovelyLadyLux »

My concern would be that all front line crimes happening on the streets are being left on the street at the local detachment (if they even make it there) and NOT reported further up the line. This means that when stats are published from Head Office they really are not a complete or accurate reflection of what is happening on the ground.

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Re: Once a world class destination, Luxor is now a ghost tow

Post by Hafiz »

No Zooropa and Dusak it is not semantics or hair splitting. As I said when you use a loaded term like attack you need to understand that others take that word seriously and that it may have an unjustified and unfair effect on Tourism. It is a simple word with a clear meaning and its misuse leads to damage. When you cry out the word 'fire' in a cinema you better be prepared to accept the responsibility and be sure that there is really fire.

For example, consider a situation where all muggings, thefts with violence and violence leading to theft, whether involving tourists or locals, in London and NY were listed in newspapers and forums as attacks. It would not only be untrue, it would also have negative effects on tourism.

A better example would be a smaller city, like Brighton, which relied on tourism. What if a bag snatch with an old lady falling down was described as an attack. Would a bag snatch leading to a dislocated shoulder be an attack? Wouldn't people look at you strangely in the UK if you described these things as attacks.

You quote one attack based on hearsay and several others on third hand accounts. The local contributors to this forum, other than yourself, seem to have missed the mail on these.

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Re: Once a world class destination, Luxor is now a ghost tow

Post by Bearded Brian »

Hafiz wrote: A better example would be a smaller city, like Brighton, which relied on tourism. What if a bag snatch with an old lady falling down was described as an attack. Would a bag snatch leading to a dislocated shoulder be an attack? Wouldn't people look at you strangely in the UK if you described these things as attacks.
No

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Re: Once a world class destination, Luxor is now a ghost tow

Post by Bearded Brian »

Being a little bit curious I did a search for Brighton news then Blackpool and then Skegness - all 3 tourist / seaside resorts to see how 'incidents' involving violence eg muggings, robbery with violence were reported and the like. In the majority of cases the word 'attack' was used - more so in Blackpool and Skegness but it was 50/50 in Brighton

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