Tourism in Egypt Battling Against Terrorist Attacks

In the city of Luxor, residents have panicked. The city is home to ancient tombs and monumental temples from the time of the Pharaoh.

However, residents fear that a foiled attack by terrorist near the world-renowned Karnak Temple will devastate an already fragile tourist industry where most of the local population depends on for a livelihood, at a time when the industry was regaining a foothold following turmoil since the Arab Spring uprising of 2011.

A day after the foiled attack, a free day trip was organized by tour operators to Luxor for over 1,000 foreign tourists from a resort on the Red Sea to increase the spirit of the city and show that it remained safe and was an attractive and interesting destination.

In addition, antiquities, tourism, security ministers and the country’s prime minister all flew to the city in southern Egypt to reassure both the locals and the tourists that the situation regarding security was under control.

However, in Luxor and the surrounding province of close to 1 million residents, nearly 75% of who are in the tourism industry, it was difficult for many to control their anger at the security agencies in the country.

Some gave praise to police for foiling the attackers from making inside the temple, others said the authorities should have known that one of the prime tourist destinations in Egypt was a target for militant, Islamic insurgency. The Islamic militants have moved from carrying out revenge attacks against soldiers and police to targeting the government and economy.

The attempt that security forces thwarted could have been much worse. A suicide bombed headed for the temple, blew himself up outside the temple in the parking lot while two gunmen fired on tourists and locals in the area.

No tourists were injured and the only two deaths were the gunman and the bomber. A third attacker was arrested after being seriously injured and remains unconscious.

It appeared as though all of the attackers were Egyptian, said an official who spoke anonymously.

The blow was cushioned by the fact it took place during the early part of the low season for Luxor, which is during the sweltering summer months when few tourists visit.

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