The 'Arab Spring' in Cairo at the beginning of 2011 has created some challenges for the economy of Luxor where everyone is in some way dependent upon tourism for their living.

Just a few weeks ago in mid-December - when it should be the height of the tourist season - hotels were operating at less than 25 per cent occupancy and fewer than 50 of the 400 cruise ships based at Luxor were sailing.   Those that sailed were carrying 20-30 passengers.  The results is that everyone from hotels, to local restaurants and shops have lost business. 

The local authority are landscaping about 1 kms of road in front of the Luxor Muesum and the work will go on for another six months. It will be superb when finished with lighting everywhere, but meanwhile hardly anyone is visiting this outstanding Museum and it is now closing at 17.00 hrs.

A new Duty-Free shop has been opened downtown and tourists can shop here, with passport, within 48 hours arriving in Luxor.  But beware, the locals recognise the coloured bags and will try to purchase the goods off the visitor.  Some are quite threatening, so any individual taking advantage of the Duty-Free shop would be well advised to take a taxi directly back to their hotel. 

Worst hit were the taxi drivers, owners of the calleches, horst-drawn carriages, and the felluccas (sail boats).   Tourists cannot walk ten metres on the Corniche without being approached by all sorts of touts, including young children trying to sell cigarettes.

Worst of all, the touts that normally worked this area have now congregated across the road from the nearby Luxor Hotel and are fighting over any potential client.  Some are being verbally insulting to clients who refuse their services.

Taxi fares have increased due to the lack of business and haggling over the fare before getting into the taxi is mandatory.  Many visitors do not appreciate this system. Many taxi drivers are trying to quote fares in English Pounds, or Euros, and don't want to talk about costs in Egyptian Pounds.