Tourist Security in Egypt
Egyptians have been welcoming tourists to their country for thousands of years and
Tourism as an industry is a vital part of the Egyptian economy. Moreover, there is a
social aspect to tourism, the sense of pride Egyptians feel for their country and its
traditions both ancient and modern, the sense of responsibility that a host feels toward a
guest, also fundamentally connected to the national identity.
The only security advice the British government gives its
citizens traveling to Egypt. The United States has not issued a travel warning or advisory
for Egypt since 1997. Ann S. Syrett, Consul General of the American Embassy in Cairo,
said, “no warning has been issued since September 11th because the State Department has
had no reason to believe Egypt is dangerous for Americans.”
On the whole, there is very little crime in Egypt, and the kind of violent crime
experienced daily in American cities is virtually unheard of.
More to ensure the feeling of security than to fend off any real danger, the Egyptian
government mandates that all tourist buses and vans be accompanied by plain clothed
security escorts. In addition, legions of white uniformed Tourist Police patrol all tourist
sites and must be advised in advance of the itineraries and driving routes to be followed
by all tourist buses and vans.
PERSONNEL OBSERVATION by Jim Scott, CTC
On May 25, 2002 I took a group of travel agents to Egypt on a twelve-day trip. We spent 3 days in Cairo, then flew to Abu Simbel, near the Sudan
border on Lake Nasser, and then flew to Aswan and spent one night. We then drove to
Luxor for two nights, and to Sharm El Sheikh on the Red Sea at the bottom of the Sinai
for three nights, then back to Cairo for two nights. I used to accompany
travel agents all over the
After 18 years of taking travel agents all over the World .
1. Every hotel, museum and national monument had better security than DIA.
2. The Egyptian people were extremely friendly and stressed that their ancestors built one the most advanced civilizations that lasted over
3. Near the end of our trip, we had a grand tour in the US Embassy, the largest US
Embassy allover the World. Mrs. Anne Syrett, the American Consul General, led the
The following are some facts that she shared with my group.
4. NO AMERICAN TOURIST HAS BEEN KILLED IN EGYPT IN 35 YEARS.
5. She took over her position in Cairo last August after leaving Paris. She said that in
Paris she had 40 to 50 requests per day to replace passports for Americans who
had been robbed. In Cairo she has had 6 or 7 requests since August 2001. She said that Egyptians do not tolerate crime.
6. Egypt is mostly Moslem and is very much against the radical Shiite fundamentalism. Osama Bin Laden's two Lieutenants who are Egyptian have already been tried and sentenced to death in abstention.
7. Egyptian Moslems respect kindness, peace, and hospitality to foreigners.
8. In 1997, Japanese and Swiss tourists were killed by fundamentalists at the Valley of the Kings. The Egyptians call it an accident. The security guards at that time did not have any bullets, now they do. I took three of my younger travel agents on a hike over the mountain from the Valley of the Kings to Queen Hatshepsut's Temple . We were never out of sight of security guards.
9. Last but not least, several of our embassy staff said that they observed the 60 Minutes and CNN crews interviewing a lady who said “Death to America ”, after 9/11. They said that their cameras had very narrow focus. However, if they would have had a wide lens you would have seen a large crowd asking where in the Hell did they find this jerk to interview.