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Love and Safety in Egyptian Tourism Videos

June 8, 2011

Rebuilding tourism remains crucial to the Egyptian economy, regardless of the actual government that emerges after the September elections. A number of recent videos have appeared by Egyptians seeking to woo tourists back. The main theme running through them is love:

I swear I’m acquainted with some of these people; I think one of the guys speaking Italian runs a souvenir shop in one of the upscale hotels along the Corniche. Anyway, love, in this context, means welcome. Please come to our country and let us feed and care for you.

Love, of course, is a two way street. In another video, a group of visiting Italians praise the new Egypt, and encourage other tourists:

Europeans make up the largest number of tourists to Egypt. Some estimates I’ve seen put Germans and Italians at the top, but even Great Britain sends over 1.5 million people there annually according to a British government web site.

Tourists were evacuated in late January during the uprisings over fears for their safety. Even those who did not want to leave–some students studying abroad, for example–were forced to leave because their travel insurance was voided when theur various government’s issued travel advisories. In spite of the claim in the previous video–that in Egypt, even uprisings are peaceful, many people abroad saw the protests as chaotic, dangerous and frightening. Safety thus becomes a crucial issue in luring tourists back.

Thus while this video is entitled “Love from Tourists”, love is less emphasized. Instead, “safety” is the central theme in this advertisement for Sharm al-Sheikh:

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