Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tour guides at the Giza ask for tourists to return

The Telegraph, UK (Nick Meo)

Some held up signs with a Valentine's Day theme saying "Egypt loves you" and insisted that it was safe for foreigners to come back. The tourist industry has been badly hit by weeks of turmoil at the peak of the holiday season, costing perhaps billions of pounds of lost income for the nation. Tour guides and camel drivers who live off tips from wealthy visitors have earned nothing for weeks and many have suffered real hardship.

"We need to make tourism come back to Egypt," said Hossam Khairy, 27.

"We want to send the message to tourists all over the world that they are welcome here. They will discover a new country and new people." The three great pyramids, one of the wonders of the ancient world, were virtually deserted on Monday, with only two nervous-looking Spaniards and a handful of Egyptian visitors making the most of a rare chance to visit the site without hordes of tourists. Touts who usually pester visitors were also absent, with only a handful trying half-heartedly to sell postcards or plastic sphinxes.

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