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EGYPT TRAVELS: Tourism takes new hit after violence

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A camel rider at the Egyptian pyramids.

EGYPT TRAVELS. Tourism in Egypt stands for a large part of the country’s economy, but once again, due to protests over the anti-Islam movie this fall, hotels, tour operators and other parts of the Egyptian tourism industry have taken a hit. One of the world’s largest cruise ships, its foreign passengers primed for onshore spending, was supposed to dock in Egypt this month. The port call, however, was scrapped because of security concerns, the Associated Press reported from Cairo.

Egyptian tourism revenues fell 30 percent to $9 billion in 2011. However, it survived the killing of 62 people, mostly foreign tourists, by Islamic militants in a 1997 attack at Luxor that seemed aimed at weakening the government by stopping the flow of tourism revenue. The Sept. 11, 2001 attacks by al-Qaida pummeled tourism, as did the 2005 bombings in Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Sharm-el-Sheikh.

Gladys Haddad, a tour guide in Cairo, said to the Associated Press she was pleased that Egypt’s new president, Mohammed Morsi, appealed to Italians to visit Egypt when he was in Rome at the height of tension over the anti-Islam film. She said early concerns that Egypt’s Islamist-dominated government might scare off tourists by banning alcohol or mixed beaches have waned, at least for now.

“I don’t think they’re going to have like a magic stick to do things right away” to improve tourism, Zeid the guide said of Egypt’s fledgling government.

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The editor of the Traveling Reporter works as a business news editor, and is a frequent traveler. When not doing any of that, he spends time on his boat and tries to figure out where to travel next. Two of his top destinations are the Philippines and San Francisco. Email Erik! Follow the Traveling Reporter at Stumbleupon, Tumblr, Chime In, Pinterest, Google+, Weibo, Storify, Facebook, Traveldudes, Myspace.