Giza, 20.12. 2011, in the desert
Below the lights of the Cairo metropolitan area, above the Cheop pyramid picturesquely illuminated. A place like that from tourism advertising, but inside in the specially constructed marquee there are serious questions: The Egyptian Minister of Tourism Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour and Amr El Ezabi, Chef The Egyptian Tourism Authority gave a press conference.
Theme: The Tourism Economy in Egypt. On the podium also representatives of the German economy: Jürgen Büchy, President of the German Travel Association (DRV) and Dr. Christian Göke, head of Messe Berlin, where Egypt will be 2012 partner country of the International Tourism Exchange (ITB). The contract was signed here in Giza.
Tourism - the most important economic factor in Egypt
Tourism is the most important economic factor in Egypt: one of six Egyptians works in the industry, 14,2 million guests from all over the world visited Egypt last year 2010, 1,33 millions of which were Germans. But the revolution a year ago has brought about a loss of tourism.
A statistics provided to me by the Consul General of the Arab Republic of Egypt shows: Depending on the month, overnight stays for Egypt have declined between 33 and 45 percent. No wonder, then, that you ask yourself how to recover these important revenues again.
Open handling with a difficult situation
The statements at the press conference were surprisingly open, in view of the difficult situation. But everything else would have been unbelievable because of the recent events. The Egyptian Tourism Minister hopes for the reason of the prospective electors:
"Muslim brothers and Salafists cannot do without tourism," he said at the press conference (in the video above). Deputy Egyptian Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou had become a little more detailed two days earlier at a conference in El Gouna on the Red Sea, which revealed details of talks with the Islamists:
“Egypt is more than Tahrir Square”
But more than the threatened election victory of the Islamists make the current affairs of the Tahrirplatz worried the tourists responsible, who always determine the news situation over Egypt. These are not exactly intended to make visitors want to spend a worry-free vacation in the country. The now sealed partnership with the ITB has already been agreed in pre-revolutionary times and could now turn out to be a blessing for the country.
Egypt has probably had a guardian angel, the minister says, alluding to the media attention that Egypt could gain as a travel destination. For, according to the unanimous original sound, Egypt is far more than Tahrirplatz, the situation in the country much calmer than the events from there want to make believe, as Tourism Minister Nour reaffirmed clearly:
Video Note: If you don't see a video here, you have to activate the option "Watch videos" under "Privacy and Cookies" at the end of the page!
For this an update of the 10.01.2012: In South Sinai Province, tourists were briefly appointed. Propelled Egyptians protested against electoral manipulation. After an administrative court had decided that the elections would be refounded, the tourists got free again. Apparently, everything went smoothly.
German economy is optimistic
And also the German economy demonstrates optimism: The Germania airline flies since 20.11.2011 once a week from the former military airport Magdeburg-Cochstedt to Hurghada. Her marketing director Ralph Ullmann said at the press conference in El Gouna: “Egypt is going through an interesting phase. We find that exciting and want to stand by the project. However, we know the economic risk and hope that we can relax a little after the elections. ”
“We get on with the circumstances”
And DRV boss Büchy (in the Vido to the left of the Tourism Minister) said at the press conference in Giza: “We cannot ignore the TV pictures from Tahrirplatz. They contradict the wish of German tourists that the most beautiful weeks of the year should not be negatively affected. ” Overall, Büchy hopes for a peaceful transition in Egypt and is, as far as the outcome of the elections, left: “German tourism goes all over the world, including countries like North Korea. Political situations may change, but we are adapting. There will always be cooperations and relationships, we will adapt to the existing conditions and will and will also arrange in Egypt if necessary. ”
Reflect your own image
A situation full of contrasts that invites reflection - on the views of politics and business, but also on our own understanding of media consumption, travel and democracy.
Thus one can regard the attitude of the economy, to arrange itself with the conditions, in view of the pictures as cynical. Or think that Egypt is supposed to provide for stable democratic conditions.
“Tourism is important for democracy”
At the same time, however, tourism, as the most important economic force, is also crucial for the success of the democratic process - months ago Egypt's Minister of Tourism Nour, by the way, even Christ, in the interview with ZEIT ONLINE pointed.
There he said: "In the beginning it was mainly economic reasons that drove many people onto the streets." And indeed
can So far, you have been able to go on vacation at the Red Sea, hundreds of kilometers from Tahrirplatz, in a nice, quiet and relaxed way. Nevertheless, the Tahrirplatz, at least in our journalist group, somehow always present.
The engagement with the target country must start much earlier
That makes me reflect on our media consumption. In many countries you travel to, the political situation is far from optimal, and Egypt is no exception. This is usually ignored. For example, the release of a prominent blogger and activist in Egypt recently caused relatively little publicity. But when pictures of dead people slosh into the living room, the general panic is suddenly great. The pictures simply depict, as some might wish, can not - the events continue to happen.
No, the discussion of the subject has to start far in advance. And the desire for a worry-free vacation is understandable, not least to him, the German tourism owes to being back on the up. But is this still contemporary in a time when many popular holiday countries are politically rather restless? Or is not a meaningful discussion with the people in the target country useful?
The future of tourism?
In fact, futurologists have already identified a new type of tourist: someone who is not concerned with “just getting away”, but who sees travel as an individual experience, as an adventurous exploration of the world, as a fulfillment of the desire for change and departure. Now one may argue that revolution sight seeing is perhaps a little too much adventure.
In Israel, on the other hand, the activist Aziz Abu Sarah already makes an impression how this could work: with his agency Mejdi he offers "dual narrative tours", which are jointly contested by Israeli and Palestinian leaders and which lead tourists, for example, to a Palestinian refugee camp. Who knows, maybe this is what tourism will look like in the future?
Text as PDF, book or eCourse on the topic or personal advice
Offline download: Download this text as PDF - Read usage rights, Because we do not automatically submit the title of this text for privacy reasons: When buying in "interests" the title register if support is needed. After buying text exclusively Download at this URL (please save). Or for a little more directly an entire book or eCourse with this text buy, read on.
Your eCourse on Demand: Choose your personal eCourse on this or another desired topic, As a PDF download. Up to 30 lessons with each 4 learning task + final lesson. Please enter the title under "interests". Alternatively, we are happy to put together your course for you or offer you a personal regular eMailCourse including supervision and certificate - all further information!
Consultant packages: You want to increase your reach or address applicants as an employer? For these and other topics we offer special Consultant packages (overview) - For example, a personal phone call (price is per hour).