The amazing Temple of Karnak: parts of the complex are over 3,000 years old. Pharaoh after Pharaoh added chapels and obelisks and great halls to the sight but these days so few are coming to appreciate it. A few years ago several thousand tourists a day were coming to Karnak temple. Now in over an hour of being here, we’ve seen little more than a handful.
The revolution and the images of violence from Egypt led to this dramatic downturn in tourism. Sherly and John Pikap from Northern England have been coming here for 20 years.
Since the revolution, we’ve been here practically on our own. We’ve been shut down here on our own.
And when you were back home and you tell friends and family that you were heading out to Egypt again, what’s their reaction?
Their reaction is, “Are you safe going out there?” And our reaction is, “Yes, we feel very safe going out there. There’s no reason why none of you should go to Egypt.”
This week some of Luxor’s traders blocked the road to the Valley of the Kings, demanding their rents come down. Because of the low number of visitors, they say they are not making money.
People in this city never thought they’d see a day they couldn’t rely on tourism. The hardship’s even affecting the horses that pull the sightseeing carriages.
Kim Taylor from the UK runs a charity to care for the animals. Many are being brought in malnourished.
People have just got no work and so if you’ve got a family and you’ve got a horse or a donkey then you’ve got to feed your family first, um, forgetting that the animal is probably the one bringing in the money. But yeah, people have got to feed their families so the horses are definitely suffering.
But everyone is suffering. Ahmet who takes boat trips along The Nile told us he can wait all day for a single customer that never comes. He feels the world’s got it wrong about Egypt but he also knows every time there are more reports of violence here, money for him will be even harder to come by.