Monday, September 12, 2011


As a follow-up to my posting of September 1 ("Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood Pushing for Significant Social Change"), the Government of Egypt reported today (September 12) that tourist arrivals fell 35% during the second quarter of the calender year when compared to the same period in 2010.

COMMENT: Egypt's Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics said Monday 2.2 million tourists arrived in the country between April and June, 2011, down from 3.5 million in the same quarter last year. Tourists from Eastern Europe accounted for the biggest share of the fall, with their numbers dropping by 46.5%.

Although widespread public protests and demonstrations have subsided compared to earlier in the year, tourism from abroad is rapidly declining, as rumors of restrictions on foreign tourists swirl about the country (e.g., beaches segregated by gender, new laws governing drinking in public, unmarried couples not being able to room together, etc.). Additionally, press reports that the Muslim Brotherhood is pushing for a less-secular Egypt and establishment of Sharia law are also worrying major hoteliers and the country's huge tourism industry.

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