Thanks to Rhio Barnhart for this link.
A slump in tourism is aggravating Egypt's economic woes and affecting the lives of those who depend on the industry for a living. About 20 percent of Egypt's foreign currency earnings come from tourism. In 2008, almost 13 million foreign tourists visited Egypt, taking in its pharaonic and Islamic sites along the River Nile. But now, the drop in revenue is hitting the country hard.
Empty tour boats line the River Nile, as boat captains desperately solicit passengers from the meager crowd of tourists strolling along the riverfront walkway in downtown Cairo.
The global economic crisis, which began last year, is causing a serious slump in the tourism industry. Tourism is a main source foreign currency earnings, along with revenue from the Suez Canal and remittances from Egyptian workers abroad.
Paul, a tourist from Manchester, England, says the global crisis, as well as a vague threat of terrorism, is making tourists like him think twice before traveling abroad.
"We're only getting eight Egyptian pounds to the English pound; last year it was 10," he noted. "And I think the credit crunch is really biting, plus the terrorism threat, as well."
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