Nadejda Popova, Euromonitor’s Travel and Tourism research analyst, explains how the current crisis in Egypt is affecting the travel and tourism industry in the region. January 25 was the first day of the anti-government demonstrations in Egypt, calling for the end of the presidency of Hosni Mubarak. The welfare conditions, high inflation, and high unemployment levels are the main factors behind the protests. The crisis is negatively effecting the economy; and equally, the travel and tourism industry. Many cities outside of the capital have been less effected, but travel and tourism boards across the world are still advising against travel to the country at this time.
Tourism was on the rise in Egypt up to the point of the crisis, with projections of the market looking quite well. This is particularly due to Egypt weathering the economic downturn better than most countries. However, the current situation in Egypt is threatening the reputation of the country. Because of the events in Egypt and Tunisia, the travel and tourism industries there are expected to lose 30 million Egyptian pounds. Prior to the events, tourist arrivals in Egypt were predicted to grow by an average of 9% and income from the travel and tourism industry was expected to reach 57 billion Egyptian pounds.
Past events in Egypt show that the country is resilient and still remains a competitive market for travel and tourism. It is geographically close to Europe and boasts many resorts and tourist hot-spots. Undeniably, the perception of the country has changed with the worldwide attention to the crisis there. The problem now is that the events in Egypt could potentially cause a ripple effect to neighboring countries, sparking riots there as well.