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November 2012 Update here
It seems to have gone a little quiet on the Egypt front recently, especially with events in other parts of the Middle East and northern Africa taking over the headlines. But there is still some confusion as to what is actually going on in Egypt and whether there is any cause for concern to holidaymakers who are still visiting the country in their droves. So, is Egypt still safe to travel to?
What is actually happening in Egypt?
There is still some political upheaval as the country tries to find its feet after the revolution. There are concerns in the West that this could see the rise of Islamic extremism in the country. The revolution has not bought the changes many expected straightaway and there remains some discontent in certain parts of the country. President Mohammed Mursi is trying to form a new government and it waits to be seen what changes this will bring in the long term.
Are there Restrictions on Tourism?
No, the opposite in fact. It has been announced that Egypt wants 20 million tourists to visit Egypt by 2014 (up from a high of 14.7 million in 2010). In order to do so, visa restrictions have been lifted or made easier for citizens of many countries, including Turkey and China. Tourism is being actively encouraged, so it is best to book as soon as possible while the going is good.
Is Egypt safe to visit?
The bottom line is yes. The vast majority of people who visit Egypt will head to one of the main resorts, such as the stunning Sharm el Sheikh. These areas are almost totally geared up for tourism and the safest places in the country. A demonstration in Tahrir Square is what you want to avoid, and in places like Sharm you are as far away from these events as possible. Tourism is a huge market in Egypt and consequently tourists are well protected and looked after. It is advisable to carry photographic I.D on you at all times such as a photocopy of your passport. Security remains very tight in Egypt and whilst this is reassuring, it is worth remembering that you will also need to comply to stricter regulations such as random and more frequent police or military checks.
Things are trundling alone as normally as possible in the vast majority of the country. There are hardly any reports of harm coming to tourists apart from the usual which occurs in every country in the world. The bottom line is that Egypt is still open for business and a cheap Egypt holiday could be just what the doctor ordered!
As always make sure you keep an eye on the news or on the Foreign Office website for new or changes in circumstances.
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Ricky is a keen traveller and writer who shares a passion for both. Ricky has travelled extensively, visiting various countries in Europe and South East Asia along with Australia, New Zealand and the USA. Ricky is a resident blogger for travel specialists Beat the Brochure, and in his spare time enjoys playing football and following Chelsea FC. Google Visit his Google + page for more information.