My family (mom, dad and brother) recently came to visit us in Egypt over our spring break vacation. We’ve been living here for 6 months now and have gotten a pretty good lay of the land; however, there are still a lot of things we haven’t seen or done yet. Part of the reason we didn’t see things sooner was to wait for family and friends to come visit us. Fortunately for them (and unfortunately for Egypt), this is a great time for them to come. I just read an article from Daily News Egypt that said in the month of March, tourism is down almost 30% from last year. To be honest though, it seems like much more than that.
When my family, Luke and I went to see the Great Pyramids of Giza we were all shocked by the lack of tourists there. Before the revolution, there would have been buses lined up in tight rows next to each other and thousands of people walking around, but on the day we went, there were about 5 buses in total that we saw and we never once had to stand in a line. As we walked on a pathway towards the first pyramid, we were greeted with warm welcomes by several tour guides telling us about the amazing tour they could give us of the pyramids and men in their galabeyas selling small souvenirs. They would ask where we’re from and often thank us for visiting.
As we were walking around, I was thinking to myself how lucky we were to not have to stand in long lines to see and go inside these beautiful structures; however, I also thought about how hard it must be for all of the tour guides, bus drivers, souviner merchants, camel guides, horse guides, restaurant owners, hotel owners and anyone else in the tourism industry during these times of change and uncertainty in Egypt. My wish for Egypt is that stability will come sooner than later, so people will once again visit this wonderful country and see what it all has to offer.