Sunday, March 23, 2014

Egypt: Hotel Security Guard Rapes British Tourist at 5-Star Hotel in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt's Future

According to the UK-based International Business Times (IBT), a hotel security guard was reportedly walking a British hotel guest back to her room in a five-star property when she reported that the security guard pulled her into her room and raped her.

The alleged victim, in her forties, was assisted by the British Consulate in the Red Sea resort.

The British Foreign Office website, which is listed below has  warned British tourists about a rise in crime. In 2012, FCO handled 23 reported cases of sexual assault and six cases of rape against British tourists while on holiday in Egypt:

http://www.https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/foreign-commonwealth

Another key variable in the reported cases of sexual assault and rape of 23 British nationals is the fact that the majority of such assaults are never reported on a global level.

The victim has since been flown back to Great Britain and has been interviewed by British detectives.

COMMENT: Understandably, and largely as a result of travel warnings issued by a large number of European nations in recent months, tourists visiting Egypt have declined by at least 24%.

In an effort to retain foreign tourist levels, Egyptian authorities have attempted to enhance security deterrents, yet when security guards at a five-star hotel are raping a hotel guest, the effectiveness of such efforts are seemingly of little value.

In 2010, prior to the emergence of the Arab Spring and the deposing of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, foreign tourists in Egypt was reported at 14.7 million.

Following the Arab Spring, tourism dropped by nearly five million to a mere ten million.

In 2012, foreign tourists, thinking that the election of President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood was indeed fair, which is unlikely, largely because former US Secretary of State and US President Barack Obama stood silent and raised no alarm bells.

By the end of 2012, foreign tourism had edged back up to 11.5 million, yet what is not factored in is the ouster of Morsi on July 3, 2013, by Field Marshal Al-Sisi following the Revolution of 2013.

It is interesting to point out that Egyptian officials have yet to release official data on foreign tourism in 2013 as we approach the fourth month of 2014. The delay in releasing such information is very likely bad news.

I have repeatedly urged all foreign tourists to avoid Egypt until such time as we have a better understanding of what the country's future actually holds.

Yet, for those tourists who feel compelled to visit what they believe to be "safe" parts of  Egypt, I offer the following suggestions:

FOR WOMEN:

1. Predators intent on exploiting women abound in all nations. That's simply a downside...and a reality...that all women must contend with;

2. Police and security personnel in developing countries are not necessarily your friends, so deal with them at an arm's distance and be wary. The rape of the British woman staying at a five-star hotel described earlier, is evidence as to why all women need to be cautious and careful;

3. All female travelers should drink alcoholic beverages in moderation as not doing so can definitely place you in a vulnerable position;

4. Hotel bars and receptions can be viewed as something you should consider attending as it may offer an opportunity for you to make friends with other women who may also be solo;

5. Always insist on meeting single men in public places as you never know their motives. If they're non-threatening and positive, they'll invest time in meeting a woman of substance on "safe" ground;

6. Never meet a stranger in a place only THEY know;

7. Always carry a mobile phone that works in the country that you're in. Good communications is a large part of protecting yourself. Personally speaking, I strongly suggest an UNLOCKED, QUAD-BAND GSM phone that work almost anywhere:

8. If your physical and emotional being tells you that you're placing yourself in a vulnerable situation, you probably are.

FOR ALL TRAVELERS:

a. If your foreign ministry permits you to do so, register your itinerary in Egypt before departure;

b. Not knowing what may occur while you're in Egypt, please subscribe to international medical treatment and evacuation insurance before departure that includes repatriation of your remains back home, as foreign tourists have been killed while in Egypt. 

Go to: http://www.insuremytrip.com;

c. Avoid hostels and budget-travel accommodation as they are crime-prone;

d. NEVER use an ATM which is installed at street level...EVER;

e. Always use ATMs inside of a banking institution during daylight hours;

f. Always carry a mobile phone. See #6 above;

g. Always carry an ATM card when traveling abroad, otherwise you may incur a 2-4% surcharge for using a credit card;

h. Participating in reputable group tours gives you safety in numbers, but I suggest small groups no larger than nine as such groups avoid taking a tour bus which is less maneuverable than smaller vehicles;

i. One benefit of using your hotel for an organized tour, is that you may well meet other travelers who are of the same gender as yourself;

j. Carry no more than $100 at any given time, as ATMs are everywhere. To locate a compatible ATM, go your bank's website and type in "ATM locator,"

k. If you are carrying a laptop, MP3-4 player; digital camera; iTouch and other valuable belongings, consider purchasing international insurance through:

http://www.safeware.com; and

l. Be aware of anyone who is watching you so that you can develop a plan on how to counter-act their intent.