• Sabi Sabi

    Photo credit by Sabi Sabi Game Reseve, Kruger National Park, South Africa

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    Photo credit by Amakhala Game Reserve, Eastern Cape, South Africa

  • IMG_3851

    Photo credit by !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre, Western Cape, South Africa

  • Amakhala

    Amakhala Game Reserve, Eastern Cape, South Africa

What a disaster! The tourism ghost town of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

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What a disaster – these are the words of hotel executive and eTN reader Werner Gessner from Sharm el-Sheikh. This Egyptian beach town is, or better was, one of the major diving and holiday destinations in the world. Beautiful 5-star brand name resorts, the latest in diving equipment, some of the best restaurants on the globe, and the lowest prices in the world. The cost for a vacation in Sharm El Sheikh may be lower than staying at home.

This resort town has a rich cultural history, lots of sunshine, and a great climate – this city has it all. It has it all, except for tourists.

More important this Egyptian holiday resort has a friendly and eager workforce ready to provide the best vacation with state-of-the-art facilities – and is more than ready to welcome tourists in mass.

On the other hand, there is Sharm el-Sheikh where airport security may have overlooked a bomb smuggle on a recent Russian airliner causing a tragic crash, bringing a wonderful holiday to a tragic deadly end – thanks to ISIS.

The incident is tragic – as tragic as Paris, Lebanon, Tunis, and Brussels. The tourism world is paralyzed by the fear of terror, leaving out of sight more than 99.9% of all holidays that are still fun, safe, and should continue.

Tourism executives in Sharm el-Sheikh, waiters working for free unable to feed their families, tour guides without tourists, attractions ready to serve without visitors, shops without clients – this is the current situation. A happy Sharm el-Sheikh is turning into a desperate Sharm el-Sheikh, and people feel punished and left alone in the world of tourism, but still delivering an even more excellent experience for those still traveling to their beautiful part of the world

Werner Gessner, a German hotel executive, has been working in Egypt and with Egypt for a lifetime. Sharm el-Sheikh is as much his home, as Dusseldorf, Germany, is.

Werner has been a loyal reader of eTurboNews for more than 15 years and is yelling out his frustration:

“What a disaster! What a disaster as Sharm el-Sheikh is a ghost town now, and what are the authorities doing to improve this situation? Where is the Minister of Tourism?

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It should be his utmost urgent priority. I feel sorry for the Egyptian people and resident people living in Sharm el-Sheikh. I say loud and clear that the government has to bring tourists in by any means, but what are the Sharm investors doing, or the Hotel Association? Please, let’s take action – urgent action – to assist the people who live here, especially those who left their families and put all they had into investing in a tourism career in Sharm el-Sheikh. What are these people going to do now? Do they have to eat dust and sand, and live in the streets?! Where are the billionaires and millionaires of Egypt? They should chip in and help!!!”

Werner goes on and demands, “What needs to be done is a concerted effort from the Sharm investors, hotel owners, and the private enterprises to go out of their way and see, with its neighboring countries, how they can support them now!

He says for those billionaires that had built the tourism infrastructure of Sharm el-Sheikh, they need to give back and safeguard their investment.

He continued: “It’s time to give back and appreciate them in their current situation of hardship, respect them as people and have respect for humanity.

“Don’t cut their little salaries, cut the service charges, or cut their food allowances – let them live, too. I went through all this with my own employees in 2011.

“Daily, I receive countless messages, emails from Egypt, Turkey, and from the entire region, asking me to make things clear and keep the awareness alive of the hardship the local people are facing.”

Werner concluded by saying that people in Sharm el-Sheikh feel the Ministry of Tourism in Cairo has abandoned them, and they all want tourism back and are organized to guarantee the safety and wellbeing of every visitor.

Source: eTN Global Travel Industry News

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