I Urge You (Again!) To Go To Egypt
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
In April of this year, I encouraged you to travel to Egypt with Megan Fox. You did not listen to me, and now Egypt’s tourism is on pace to finish 25% down this year, accounting for around a $3 Billion loss of Egypt’s $15 Billion tourist economy. Egypt hasn’t looked this bad since The Mummy Returns.
If you are reading this and have not traveled to Egypt this year, then this is your fault. But it is also my fault (and especially Jon Wick’s fault). Despite contemplating a trip to Egypt, it never panned out for me and this has crippled tourism, one of the country’s major sources of revenue.
Instead of there being a new threat to tourists traveling to Egypt, a perceived threat has caused many to change their travel plans. Due to the press’s focus of the Arab Spring, plenty are wary of instability in Egypt. But if the thought of visiting Washtington, D.C. doesn’t frighten you, then don’t sweat going to Egypt, where the murder rate is 1,000 times less. Washington, D.C. is to Saving Private Ryan what The Care Bear’s Movie is to Cairo.
Egypt, with its enormously long historical scroll, is currently drafting one of the most important chapters of its history. It’s an important time for Egypt as a country and that makes for an even more memorable visit there.
As reported in the NYT, many tourism operators are catering to wary travelers by encouraging them to bypass Cairo to see the often overlooked destination of Alexandria. One big draw there is the The New Library of Alexandria, which — since being opened in 2002 — has not yet been burned down by the Romans. The New Library boasts an Espresso Book Machine, which can “magically” reproduce almost any book in an instant (in much the same way Jean-Luc Picard used the replicator to make his books aboard The USS Enterprise).
Alexandria is also well placed on the warm waters of the Mediterranean and has a happening night life with bars, pubs, dancing and frequent performances. By day the city offers museums and teahouses where you can take off a load and smoke the sheesha you did not in college when your hookah was loaded with something else.
And as is often the case when the supply of a demand dwindles, the supply wins. Right now, travelers are in short supply in Egypt, making the Land of the Pharaohs the land of discounts that begs the intrepid travler to take advantage of.
About the Author
Luke Maguire Armstrong lives in Guatemala directing the humanitarian aid organization, Nuestros Ahijados. He wants to fight a bear. His book of poetry, iPoems for the Dolphins to Click Home About (available for sale on Amazon.com) is especially enjoyed by people who “don’t read poetry.” (@lukespartacus)