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So... just how BAD is this hassling/unwanted attention?

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Gothenburg, Sweden
posts: 3
So... just how BAD is this hassling/unwanted attention?

I hope I do not offend anybody by asking this. I ask because I am seeking knowledge, not because I have a lot of prejudices or anything like that :)

I'm getting married, and we're thinking of a Nile cruise for our honeymoon. We haven't decided on the ship just yet, but it'll be the normal package with excursions etc.

We're both unfamiliar with Egypt. We've travelled a bit before, but mainly within Europe and the US. Having said that, I'd like to think we're both knowledgeable, open minded, non-judgemental people that certainly have no plans of being any kind of hillbilly-esque tourists that complain because things aren't like they are at home ;)

The thing is - I find myself a bit insecure and unsure of what to expect. I'm certainly not going to be surprised by an atmosphere that is a lot more noisy, chaotic, etc. etc. that in - say - London. I'm aware of naggy salesmen and pickpockets. I know, and have no problem with, that this is a completely different culture. I plan to act according to local customs, that includes dress. What has got me thinking is all the comments I've read in here about females getting hassled a lot - no matter what they wear.

This, I don't know what to think about. I'm not really good with that sort of stuff. AND I know that people online tend to exaggerate, I can deal with a few lines being shouted here and there, but how often does it really happen? And what sorts of things do they say? How about groping? (I feel like an ignorant person just for asking, but I really don't know what to expect...) Will it help being with a man and in a group? And how to deal?

We want a relaxing, fun-filled, completely chilled out honeymoon, and worrying about this has actually got me thinking that it could partly ruin the trip. I hope I'm wrong :-/

91. Re: So... just how BAD is this hassling/unwanted attention?

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Removed on: 11:27 pm, January 29, 2013
Edited: 11:27 pm, January 29, 2013
Hurghada, Egypt
posts: 1,307
reviews: 9
92. Re: So... just how BAD is this hassling/unwanted attention?

I do not think there is an increase or decrease in the hassle in Luxor, what there is is a significant decrease in the number of visitors hence a greater level of personal hassle.

As I stated and most if not all will agree is how you deal with it, forewarned is forearmed.

Luckily many people do manage to deal with it, they arrive at the restaurants on foot, in taxis and on caleches.

I wish there was a quick fix but there is not because basically they do not see what they are doing as hassle, no mater how many times its pointed out to them also by many on this forum I suspect.

As for taxi fares, I posted early on what I pay and other expats pay as a guide. As for possibly over rating these fares see it as you will and use the information passed in good faith as you wish. Remember all the postings in this thread and many others on the taxi subject nearly all state the excepted fare from the airport into Luxor as around 50le, however the "official fare" previously on display at the airport was 25le. So we can all state only what we pay as a "fair" fare ourselves.

R

Loughborough...
posts: 534
93. Re: So... just how BAD is this hassling/unwanted attention?

Ras, i agree with much of what you have said but in relation to the problems women sometimes experience im not sure you can square your comment that they do not see it as hassle, as has been pointed out by AswanFans any attention of the types described would infuriate a local if their wife were subjected to it so on this score at least they must know that they are over stepping the mak?

Also, what they cant fail to see is that this style of selling just isnt bringing in the corn anymore (even if it did do previously).

Would be interested to hear your comments.

Regards.

Guildford, United...
posts: 256
reviews: 56
94. Re: So... just how BAD is this hassling/unwanted attention?

On my first visit after the revolution I too saw a demo outside the Government building in Luxor though this one seemed more peaceful than witnessed by KV Explorer though you only have to read this article to see things could have been much nastier and what the current unrest is doing to the tourist industry in Egypt.

…ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/3/12/63596/Busines…

Which I have copied below:

The tourism sector has been hit hard by the current wave of violence across Egypt, with hotel occupancy rates hitting a record low and tourists fleeing the country.

As clashes reached their climax on Monday night in Cairo’s downtown, masked assailants stormed the lobby of the Semiramis Intercontinental hotel.

The recent wave of anti-Brotherhood protests that began on the second anniversary of Egypt's revolution has had a detrimental effect on tourism. Downtown Cairo, famous for its upscale Nile view hotels, has been the worst affected.

As fighting reached the Garden City Corniche area near Tahrir Square, the interior ministry asked the management of three nearby hotels to take safety precautions.

The Intercontinental Semiramis and Shepheard hotels on one side of Tahrir Square, and the Hilton Ramsis overlooking Abdel-Moneim Riad Square, were asked to seal and barricade their entrances and halt all unnecessary hotel operations, such as opening restaurants to the public.

“We received clear orders from Qasr-El-Nil police station to barricade our guest entrances as well as to reduce staff to below normal levels when clashes began on Thursday night,” a security guard at Intercontinental Semiramis told Ahram Online.

The Semiramis is one of Cairo’s oldest and most expensive hotels, known for its luxurious restaurants; during the clashes it has been surrounded by clouds of teargas and its entrance slopes a refuge for protesters.

“Mayday, mayday, mayday, the Intercontinental Semiramis is under attack, please convey our distress message to the ministry of interior,” frightened hotel staff Tweeted via the hotel account at around 11pm Monday.

The hotel cancelled all bookings and halted future reservations. As security circumstances deteriorated, dozens of guests checked out in the early hours of Tuesday.

All guests were evacuated safely from the building, stated Mahfouz Aly, head assistant to the tourism minister. Aly added that they would be compensated for any psychological damage they may have suffered.

Occupancy rates at hotels in downtown Cairo area are at critical levels, with most tourists leaving before the revolution’s second anniversary on Friday.

“Since the beginning of the clashes on Friday our hotel reached a zero occupancy rate, which hasn’t occurred since the 18-day uprising," Ahmed Labib, executive official at Shepheard Hotel told Ahram Online.

"Unfortunately the current security situation gives a very bad image of Egypt’s tourism industry. This month, our revenues dropped by more than half.”

The Red Sea and other tourist areas, such as the historic centres of Luxor and Aswan, have also been affected by the political impasse, despite being far from any violence.

“Occupancy rates have dropped by almost 40 per cent since 2010 and revenues have declined by almost 60 per cent. Hotels in the Taba area are unable to cover their monthly costs. Adding to all that the security situation in the Sinai is highly unstable,” said Tareq Rehan, former general manager of Taba Heights Red Sea resort.

“This has been almost tourist-free in Taba and other Red Sea resorts,” Rehan explained.

Luxor and Aswan, considered major touristic hubs, have seen signs of recovery since the January 2011 popular uprising, but the current political impasse brought the cities back to square one.

“The tourism sector has been battered by the successive waves of unrest; however, the sector showed small signs of recovery by the end of 2012,” Mohamed Fathy, owner of Visit Egypt travel agency, told Ahram Online.

“Because of the current situation, foreigners have cancelled their bookings. Half the famous Nile cruises are simply not operational. The government needs to protect strategic industries such as tourism; they have to understand that without proper security it is simply not viable,” asserted Fathy.

President Mohamed Morsi pledged at the beginning of his term in August to guarantee security for tourists.

One of the main pillars of the president's presidential programme was to expand the tourism sector and attract tourists from around the world.

The ministry of tourism says the fall in the tourism, which accounts for 11 per cent of the Egyptian economy, since the revolution, has worsened the country’s public debt levels and is a main cause of the foreign currency crisis and the fall in reserves.

“I am very despondent about the situation in Egypt. It is impossible to attract tourists and touristic investment into the country with the security situation deteriorating to this extent,” said Elhamy El-Zayat, the head of Egypt's Federation of Tourism Chambers.

El-Zayat estimates occupancy rates to have reached a record-low rate of 15 per cent in Cairo, 50 per cent on the Red Sea coast and less than 5 per cent in Luxor and Aswan; the worst since the 2011 popular uprising.

UK
posts: 810
reviews: 10
95. Re: So... just how BAD is this hassling/unwanted attention?

Ras - " Remember all the postings in this thread and many others on the taxi subject nearly all state the excepted fare from the airport into Luxor as around 50le, however the "official fare" previously on display at the airport was 25le. So we can all state only what we pay as a "fair" fare ourselves. "

Fair and fare enough! It is honestly helpful to establish the range. If you know the Egyptian prices but can't achieve that (or don't think it is a fair for the service) clearly stating both prices gives people a clue. They can then decide for themselves how best to secure fares. People will comment if some ex-pats are quoting unreasonably high fares, as it doesn't make sense that locals would pay beyond rates published in hotels as taxi tariffs.

Boring, I am not saying it is impossible for an occassional tourist to, "haggle the poor taxi driver into the ground", I am saying that it is not the normal complaint on this forum and doesn't reflect how many people feel ripped-off by drivers constantly trying to make tourists pay much more than a fair price. Exploitation of taxi drivers, I have never seen - in decades on visiting Egypt. Taxi drivers are sharp, quick and know every trick in the book. Most people I speak to simply want to pay a fair rate. They are anxious, if anything, to do so and not appear mean.

Julian C. As I said earlier, it is important to separate general sales hassle from sexual harassment directed at women. The sales hassle, men and women can learn to deal with. If they want to - that's another debate. Nothing seems likely to change soon - even when tourists return to Egypt.

Edited: 3:34 pm, January 29, 2013
Hurghada, Egypt
posts: 1,307
reviews: 9
96. Re: So... just how BAD is this hassling/unwanted attention?

As I stated before I include sexual harassment in the same context as all hassle they do not see what they are doing as wrong.

There is also a misconception that this behaviour is reserved for tourists it is not local women also get harassment, to what levels I do not know but it happens and a law was passed recently making it an offence.

Two people walked past my Thai yesterday and started talking about Thai massage as opposed to Thai curries!

R

UK
posts: 810
reviews: 10
97. Re: So... just how BAD is this hassling/unwanted attention?

Very interesting article, Holidays. Thanks for that.

"El-Zayat estimates occupancy rates to have reached a record-low rate of 15 per cent in Cairo, 50 per cent on the Red Sea coast and less than 5 per cent in Luxor and Aswan; the worst since the 2011 popular uprising."

Ouch, ouch, ouch. These figures are terrible. I have recently returned from a month in Egypt and Aswan. Cairo and Luxor tourist numbers seemed far lower than figures I have seen quoted. How much longer can businesses sustain this level of punishment? It is a truly scary picture.

Exhall, United...
posts: 724
98. Re: So... just how BAD is this hassling/unwanted attention?

I to have been in Luxor when there has been trouble outside the El Luxor (notably Sept/Oct 2011) when Coptic Christians (around 200 or so) were angrily demonstrating, however they parted to let my wife go and buy some water, then again for her return (I was not around or I would have gone). I have also seen fights in the street and other demonstrations (albeit around the time of the revolution). In all that time neither myself or my wife EVER felt threatened (this is not male bravado, just FACT).

As for the hassle, I can honestly say it doesn't bother me, it does however bother me when I see other people getting hassled to the point that THEY feel they can't leave their hotel.

@boringFS "What some consider 'fair fares' to be honest are just taking the micky" Whilst I accept that some people MAY haggle and haggle some more in order to get the very cheapest price they can for a taxi, I believe most people who come on here know the rough prices for taxi rides (at least local rides). I also believe that for every tourist that haggles down to the very last dime, another will get ripped of (paying way over the odds). As has been said before MANY TIMES, if both parties agree a price, it is fair to THEM!!!! This doesn't mean however the likes of you, me, KV Explorer, Aswanfans or whoever may not raise our eyes in despair or wonder sometimes.

I will admit I like to pay the lowest price I can for a ride (mainly longer rides), but often make this up with a tip (depending on the length of the ride).

Edited: 5:07 pm, January 29, 2013
99. Re: So... just how BAD is this hassling/unwanted attention?

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Removed on: 11:27 pm, January 29, 2013
Edited: 11:27 pm, January 29, 2013
100. Re: So... just how BAD is this hassling/unwanted attention?

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff has removed this post because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum guidelines with regards to off-topic chat. Please limit conversations to subject matter directly related to the host forum. For example: when in the London forum, please stick to topics that relate to travel within the London Metropolitan Area.

Off-Topic Chatter is a forum for discussions gone afield from the topic of travel. Please note that the Off-Topic Chatter forum is un-moderated -- the Forum Posting Guidelines are not enforced, with the exception of pornographic images or text, hate speech, unauthorized re-prints of copyrighted text, and messages that promote or encourage illegal activities. Each user is expected to take responsibility for his or her own conduct.

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We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 11:27 pm, January 29, 2013