Thursday, September 25, 2014

Egypt: Lifting Travel Warnings is But One "External" Factor, Political Unrest, Terrorists Remain

According to http://english.ahram.org.eg,  travel bans issued in February 2014 have been gradually been lifted of late by predominantly European nations, yet I caution all foreign travelers that modification of a single external variable--travel warnings--does not change the reality of significant internal variables that continue to exist inside Egypt today.

The same political factors, wholesale attacks on Egyptian police, military and officials and the very terrorist groups that existed before the travel warnings were lifted...remain to this day.

COMMENT: Let's be real honest. Most tourists concentrate on having "fun," not thinking about whether their tour bus is going to be left burning from the inside out

Yes, I do want to provide you the possibilities of what can happen in the Egypt of today, because foreign tourists have been injured and killed in the past.

Below, I have provided you a number of links that are factually based that explain the potentiality:

It is my hope that my forecast is unfounded, yet I've been forecasting political and economic violence for 30+ years and intimately understand the motivations behind violent behavior. 

In my opinion, IF foreign tourists return to Egypt with gusto…WITHOUT the Egyptian government taking extraordinary steps to keep tourists safe, my prediction is that a handful of terrorist groups that have been operating in Egypt since 2011 may be focused in targeting foreign travelers:

http://stayingsafeabroad.blogspot.com/2014/09/egypt-half-of-egypt-including-cairo

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/egypt 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorism_in_Egypt

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinai_insurgency

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ansar_Bait_al-Maqdis

http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/other/des/123085

I'll say it again…if the only change that is made is the lifting of travel warnings for Egypt, which is essentially an external factor, the violent threats that existed BEFORE the travel warnings remain as a clear and present danger to foreign tourists. 

As outdated and passé as the safety of  foreign travelers has seemingly become in unpredictable and perilous developing countries, the bottom-line is that any foreign tourist seriously injured or killed by a violent act in Egypt…even plain ole armed robbery, rape or murder…will still have some political accounting to make right.

Although those in the Egyptian tourist industry seem to dwell almost exclusively on the threats of terrorism, if you have been robbed, raped or killed in Egypt, which does occur frequently, being victimized by violence in Egypt is equally painful, if not more so…as your visit for tourism is now in shambles.

I fervently remind all tour operators, hotel chains, tourist attractions, restaurants, taxi services and other vendors that support Egypt's vital tourism industry that they, too, share in the responsibility of protecting foreign tourists.

The number of tourists visiting Egypt in July 2014 increased 15.8% compared to the same period a year earlier, according to the tourism ministry.

A total of 885,765 foreign tourists spent 6.6 million nights in Egypt during July 2014, compared to 765,108 spending almost 7 million nights a year earlier.

My question for those 885,765 tourist is this: Did your visit have any  adverse effects during your visit to Egypt? 

During the above period, almost 70% of tourists visiting Egypt came from eastern and western Europe.

July also saw the election of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, with almost 97% of all votes, on the promise of achieving economic prosperity and political stability.

Tourist visits in July 2014 remain 32% lower than the same period in 2010, when 1.3 million tourists entered the country and spent almost 13 million nights.

The tourism ministry announced in July that it is targeting new markets with high purchasing power, particularly India and China.

Earlier this week, EgyptAir--the state's flagship carrier--signed an agreement to launch direct flights between Cairo and New Delhi while adding three lines to the existing four between Egypt and India.

Egypt is currently targeting 1 million tourists from India by 2017.

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