Thanks to Kat Newkirk, who spotted this interesting piece that I missed on the Egypt Today website. It looks at the problem of falling standards due to unlicensed tour guides, the issues with tourists from countries whose languages are not well represented amongst licensed Egyptian tour guides, and the difficulties of handling political and religious queries:
"Not too long ago, the nation’s belly dancers were in an uproar: Foreigners were entering the field, they complained, taking jobs away from home-grown professionals and changing the image of what used to be an Oriental art. Celebrity belly dancers including Fifi Abdou rallied and, in 2003, the Ministry of Manpower and Immigration banned non-Egyptians from obtaining belly dancing licenses. That ban was reversed a year later, however, and now shows headlining Russian dancers attract locals and tourists alike.
For Egyptian tourist guides, it’s déjà vu all over again. Enraged guides are taking a stand against what they call illegal guiding, which mostly takes the form of unlicensed foreigners accompanying tour groups in the country. Local professionals claim the phenomenon threatens not just the economy, but the nation’s heritage and even national security.
Egyptologist Aladdin Khalifa is an executive member of the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA) and its official representative for Africa. The WFTGA is a non-profit, non-political organization, composed of national tourist guide associations, individual guides, educational institutions and convention and visitor’s bureaus. According to Khalifa, a tourist guide for more than 15 years, illegal guiding is at the top of the WFTGA’s agenda, as members believe it brings down the overall standards of the profession."
See the above page for the full article.
A second item on the same page also looks at the role of illegal immigration.