Tourism Has A Price.

Advice, information and discussion about Egypt in general.

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Tourism Has A Price.

Post by Hafiz » Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:20 am

Tourism Has A Price.

In some places the price is 100% of the citizen’s assets or taking away the natural and free assets/resources of their own country. For others there is the exclusion of locals and all the benefit/theft of resources/nature going to the tourist or the many crooks/murderers/the army who are the backbone of the Egyptian tourism industry.

Of course the informed forum members whose love of Egypt is unqualified by reality know that there are no disadvantages for Egyptians from Tourism and suggestions that is the case are lies – or just unhelpful for those with financial interests in Egyptian tourism.

Take beaches. Tourists of great moral sensitivity and compassion lounge on them but where do they come from, who were they stolen from and can the local Egyptians use them?

We are unclear about how much has been sold/given/rented/stolen/bribed to some of the least impressive/low rent hotel chains/worst hotels in the world but here is a start.

“In Ras Gharib, on the Red Sea, only one public beach was available to the locals, but after 12 people drowned last summer (2015) with no lifeguard on site, the authorities were forced to shut the beach down. The other beaches in the area are mostly occupied by oil companies and are therefore polluted and unsuitable for swimming.” They didn’t provide a life guard for locals just closed it.

“Hurghada used to have 10 public beaches, but they have been rented to private companies, depriving the locals of free access to the waterfront. This phenomenon has carried over to the public beaches in Safaga, Quseir, Marsa Alam, Halayeb and Shalatin.”

“Ain Sokhna is yet another coastal town where all the beaches over a stretch of 200 kilometers are owned by hotels and compounds, except for one in Adabiya, close to Suez.” – which from memory is filthy.

“Public beaches have disappeared in Sharm El-Sheikh, Dahab and Ras Sedr. In fact, certain private beaches have annexed natural reserves, such as a beach in Dahab that contains rare plants. “The Dahab reserve was once protected by the European Commission,” said Mohsen Gafar, a resident of Dahab. “Now it is part of a private beach.”

“Over a stretch of 600 kilometers, the beaches of southern Sinai are restricted to tourists and hotel guests, while the ordinary citizen is deprived of them.”

“Zidane Nafie, head of the “Sons of Sharm El-Sheikh Association,” said the City Council has rented the public beach for LE1.2 million a year. “The entrance fee is LE150 per person,” he said. “ That’s the income from 6,500 beached whales to cover the yearly rental – gross, including the whales. 20 a day on average each requiring a lifeguard with a 20 ton dredge to drag them in.

“Ahmed Atef works in a hotel in Sharm El-Sheikh. He said staff members are not allowed to use the beach. “Where can I take my family if there is no public beach anymore,” he said.” As if your boss cares – its up to him who gets in and he won’t let you in even if you had money.

One could go on for ages but you get my point and that the rentals are trivial, the taxpayer thieved, rich made richer and locals warded off. Nevertheless those paragons of virtue who know all of Egypt probably have a different view – but possibly not based on evidence and logic.

Of course there are other opinions and I’ve seen Egyptian men crouched up against the fences on Sharm getting very excited in their dozens whilst the tourist police look on or just snooze or take bribes for not running them in.

The President made a big issue of evicting thousands from land close to the Nile – but not military clubs, not military hotels, not the clubs owned by the police or other connected groups and not rich investors – just poor and ordinary people. In addition having a legal right to frontage or islands is irrelevant because the police/army just ignore court orders/decisions that give property rights to the residents. Who gets these prime assets after the evictions I leave to your imagination just as I leave the beneficiary of the payment made for them.

The general rule in Egypt is if you are poor sitting on a valuable asset – get out.

That ‘strong’ approach seems to also not apply to the current beach hotels owned by corrupt people who got the land in dubious circumstances and utilities at cut price. Many, its unclear, also got tax exemptions for substantial periods. So on the coast it’s the wild west and the taxpayer gets little – sometimes less than nothing. ... =firefox-b and ... r-visitors and on the Nile ... -the-nile/ and ... on-efforts

With the hundreds of hotels/compounds on the North Coast (many army owned holiday compounds or army hotels) all have beaches closed to the public.

As if the Junta of Egypt ever cared about the rights of mere citizens let alone those who are not rich. Their 70 year track record on the environment/nature is probably a winner - maybe the worst in the world.

Maybe tourists with a conscience could think of this – when they sober up or if they can be bothered to consider that their comfort is on a foundation of thievery and excluding locals.

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Re: Tourism Has A Price.

Post by Ruby Slippers » Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:09 pm

Mmmm! Food for thought there, Hafiz. :tk

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Re: Tourism Has A Price.

Post by newcastle » Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:27 am

Whilst agreeing with Hafiz, it's worth pointing out that it's not just the Egyptian who suffers from the iniquities of the tourism sector.

Taking the Red Sea coast as an example, although foreigners were allowed to buy in certain areas, it led to a plethora of developments all along the coast, marketed vigorously, but without the necessary permissions because they were outside designated areas.

Huge profits have been made by..., guess who.....whilst many investors have nothing to show for their " home in the sun" than a bunch of keys and a few worthless bits of paper.

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Re: Tourism Has A Price.

Post by Horus » Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:48 am

"Caveat emptor" and Fools rush in" springs to mind. 8)

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Re: Tourism Has A Price.

Post by Hafiz » Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:46 pm

Put another way and very simply - the coast-beaches are some of Egypt's greatest assets both to its citizens and in money/development/tourism terms.

What do you do with your biggest asset. Do you talk to a few friends about what they will pay for it or do you put it to tender against clear environmental, design standards aimed to maximize the benefit to the country not only in up front cash but in jobs ets. Tender excites competition and forces the highest price. Egypt has never put this asset to public tender which is why the crooks, gangsters and murderers got the asset for little - sometimes nothing - got billions in free infrastructure and years/decades of tax holiday.

When the land is just allocated in 300 private deals the country looses all competitive tension to get the results it wants/needs. Competitive tender gives you the chance to set the rules of the game and the outcome you want whereas the private option just fills Swiss bank accounts and gives further benefits to some of the worst property developers/hotel managers in the world.

As with many other things Egypt fails to take the initiative and control its assets - rather it just sits back and waits for people to knock on the door.

If it was put to tender some of the best firms in the world would likely crush local competition and devliver huge up front one off cash payments to the government/citizen.

Put it another way. there is over 1,000ks of hotel developments on the Red Sea, Sinai and North Coast - there is not a single hotel out of these 500-1,000 that has ever won a prize for service, food, entertainment etc or is even in the top 500 in any category in the world. How is it possible that out of the nearly 1,000 hotels there is not a single one that gets on anyone;'s list for even flushing toilets. That is quite an achievement. Imagine saying the same of the coastal hotels in Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Turkey ets - most places get at least one or two right but Egypt gets everything wrong - boring, vulgar, bad service, terrible food, nothing to do etc.

Maybe that great Egyptian, member of parliament, son of a member of parliament, brother of a sister and a brother who are members of parliament and friend of that great friend of Prince Charles - Talaat Moustafa the murderer of his mistress with tons of blood and a slit throat. He knows everything about tourism/hotels and is looking to do a huge development in Luxor - with a blood bank attached.

For those who have commendable morals and wish the best of rehabilitated murderers/crooks/bribers you can reward his virtue and the President's virtue in giving him pardon by staying at any Four Seasons Hotel in Egypt and some others he owns. If you are interested in providing support and advice to bashers and murderers you should know that the executives and security staff at these hotels were used by their owner to slaughter this girl and probably others to allow him to return to his 3 'authentic' Islamic wives - obviously he is a saint. There are many men in the world nowadays who are excited and feel more potent to know that men are capable of extreme brutality to assert their power.

An aside - most of the hotel operators are 4th raters which explains their foul pollution and the damage they have done to the Sinai and Red Sea reefs.

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