MEDIA BEAT UP: Don’t believe the hype, Egypt is a peaceful tourism destination and should be on your list of places to see.
MEDIA BEAT UP: Don’t believe the hype, Egypt is a peaceful tourism destination and should be on your list of places to see. Picasa

Forget the Egypt shown in the news

I'D LIKE to think I'm a trustworthy guy.

Certain people may disagree with that, but I'm going to stick with it.

I always thought the Australian media was trustworthy too.

But I was wrong.

Believe me: don't believe what you read in the papers.

I understand that that may sound a tad strange; here I am writing in the paper… telling you not to believe what you read in the papers.

For that, I can only refer you back to my opening sentence. Trust away. Besides, the NewsMail is one of the good ones.

But let me tell you about this little country called Egypt.

If you were to believe what you read or saw in the Australian media over the last 12 months, travelling to Egypt wouldn't exactly have seemed the wisest life choice.

With safety issues apparently reaching heights unheard of since the videos at the start of aeroplane flights became a thing, no one in the western world even wanted to send their worst enemy to such a place.

People were fighting. Bombs were going off in the street. Even camels were spitting at a much higher rate than usual.

In short, Egypt was a mess, and people from afar were probably wondering if the birthplace of civilisation would ever find its way back from the darkness.

Now for the truth.

The people are as friendly as any I've met, the bombs are as far away as any I've seen and the camels…well, admittedly they still spit quite a lot.

But by gosh this place is safe - far from the riot-happy mecca we so often see in the news.

Many Egyptians are quick to point out the western world's desire to eliminate Egypt as an Arab power as a key element in this media bashing. Up until last week, I would have thought these Egyptians were silly.

But having seen first-hand just how safe this place is, there's been a swift change of heart. Egypt is not a mess.

What is a mess is what's happening to the Egyptian tourism industry.

I had been told horror stories about lining up for entry into the Great Pyramids of Giza.

We didn't even have a queue.

Our tour guide told us how his company's minimum tour size was 60 this time last year.

Our tour size was eight.

And of most concern was the fact the Nile cruises had a tendency of running out of beer at the bar.

With only 12 patrons on the boat, I'm fairly sure they had plenty to spare, even with me onboard.

Egypt isn't exactly a nation that can afford to simply do aside with all things tourism.

Money doesn't grow on the palm trees of the banks of the Nile, and in case you weren't aware, they have one or two things in which tourists might be interested.

However, with safety at the forefronts of all of our minds, tourists don't want to take the risk. Put simply, this assault from the western media is crippling a nation which should have the greatest tourism industry on the planet.

Come to Egypt. I promise: it's safe. But then, I'm writing for a newspaper. Can you trust me?

Jack McGovern is a columnist for the Bundaberg NewsMail



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