Egypt desperate to remind tourists what they are missing
Egypt’s tourism ministry, desperate to lure back western visitors to the land of the Pharaohs, recently launched a marketing campaign using Cairo’s Tahrir Square as its theme.
Two new finds are at Saqqara, an older but lesser known pyramid site than Giza Photo:
Slogans such as “Tahrir: The Square that Rocked the World”, have helped to turn the site from which the revolution against President Hosni Mubarak was launched into a tourist attraction in its own right.
While the campaign is intended to signal the birth of a new, democratic Egypt, it has had, at best, mixed success.
The number of foreign visitors to Egypt in the first quarter of this year fell by 46 per cent, bad news in a country where one in eight of the working adult population is employed in the tourism industry.
Western leaders may have hailed the courage of Egypt’s people in overthrowing their latter-day pharaoh, but western tourists remain wary of returning to a country that is still suffering from instability and growing religious tension.
The discovery of previously unknown pyramids and up to 1,000 ancient tombs in a new satellite survey is unlikely to bring a rush of tourists into the country, diehard amateur archaeologists notwithstanding.
Posted By: Mohamed Mokhtar