After a tumultuous few months, a number of very positive developments and tangible changes show a positive outlook for travel to Egypt.
A Peaceful Vote
After anxiously awaiting the results of Egypt's referendum on proposed constitutional changes, the historic vote loudly and clearly approved the amendments. The voting was conducted with no incidents of violence and the results were accepted without dispute. This indicates that people are engaged and supportive of the new democratic process and that the parliamentary elections scheduled for September should hopefully be carried out in a peaceful and democratic manner.
U.S. State Department Lifts Warning to Tourists
As of March 2011, the U.S. State Department has also updated their Travel Warning. The U.S. no longer advises against non-essential travel to Egypt, but notes that travelers should remain aware of the current situation. Most U.S. diplomats and Embassy staff who had been evacuated have returned and the Embassy is resuming normal operation.
Other Signs of Recovery
The Egyptian stock exchange has also reopened and is functioning. Expectations were mixed but after nearly a week of trading the market has actually performed very well and has seen gains of approximately 18% compared to its close.
The Ministry of the Interior is functioning and police, including tourism police, are deployed throughout the country. Minister Essawy is a strong leader for the Ministry and has made Egypt's safety and security his primary objective. Curfew has also been reduced to 3 hours only, from 2:00 am to 5:00 am. This is, in fact, a welcome restriction to many as it brings at least a few hours of peace and quiet in Cairo.
The numbers of tourist arrivals continue to pick up and the experience of visitors to Egypt is by all means first class in terms of added value, crowd-free sights, engagements with Egyptian culture, and the vibrant energy of a new Egypt. As a top destination for iExplore adventurers, we welcome you to reconsider visiting this historic and fascinating destination.