Was anyone else one of those weird kids in elementary school who had a phase where they were obsessed with Ancient Egypt? I know I was. I dreamed of visiting Egypt one day and visiting the pyramids myself. But nowadays…..maybe not.
I'm not the only one who feels this way. In fact, there are several other countries that also have a suffering tourist industry right now. Check out these stories from the travelers of Reddit. Christianshiels asked:
What is one country that you will never visit again?
Unfortunately, the Sphinx won’t be getting any foreign visitors anytime soon.
This is horrifying.
“Egypt's tourism industry will never recover from this question."
“I was there in 2003, I was maybe 24ish on a tour with both of my parents.
I have never in my life been felt up as much as I have over there. In crowds, at museums, at the hotel. Random guys.
Even taking a camel ride: the older sleazy operator lifted me down without my consent and forced my body to do a slow slide against him.
It was disgusting. Really sad to hear it has gotten far worse."
It’s depressing to see the decline.egypt GIFGiphy
“Egypt. I visited Sharm El Sheikh back in 2015. The hotel area was amazing (I vaguely remember it being called "The Barron") and you felt like a king there. But that was it. As soon as you leave the hotel area, you feel like you're in a war zone. Trash everywhere, barely laid roads. Nothing to go look at, outside of the hotel (apart from stuff they sold to you as a day trip - Snorkelling, Camel riding, going out in the dessert with a quad bike).
It did not feel "right" to be there. Every time I went to buy water in a shop, the price would go up each day. They would tell you a price, many times 2 or 3 times the price you payed the day before and you'd need to haggle them down. I ended up saying that I'd pay a certain amount and not more. When they said "no", I'd leave the shop and they'd come chasing after me, saying "ok, ok, we can do £X.XX". It was stressful to be there.
If I wanted to enjoy myself, I'd stick to my hotel room, the pool or the beach and ignore the people trying to sell me stuff on the beach. I was the only one in the group of 5 people who didn't enjoy it. But I don't see the joy in having to haggle my way through the day and having seen everything after the 2nd day.”
“As an Egyptian woman, I want to say…
Firstly, I am 10000% sorry for every human being victimized by someone in Egypt.
On behalf of Egyptian women everywhere, THANK YOU for sharing your stories. Your stories are our stories. These things happen to us ALL.THE.TIME. But the women here are numb to it or condemned for speaking up. We try to communicate with the outside world on the issue of women's right, rape culture, sexual harassment but with the spoken and written language barrier, it makes it very difficult to get our stories out.
Egypt needs this rude awakening. Tourism will suffer and they cannot afford to have that happen. We need to take responsibility and make some serious changes.
Edit: I am choosing to no longer respond to comments, because I have had some strange encounters from a few. I am aware that this post has been reposted directly on Egyptian tourism channels and I am now receiving a ton of comments questioning me on personal matters, my location, my travel, my education, my family as well as questioning the validity of my experiences. Everyone is within their right to ask whatever question they may have but I fear that perhaps this might be a ploy to get pieces of information about me and my family to find my identity. For this, I am feel an overwhelming fear. So I will stop commenting from now, but I will continue to read.
For those not living in Egypt, I very much want to thank everyone for your kind words and support. I mostly write on these forums because I am able to express myself openly and honestly in a way that I've never experienced before and it is very therapeutic. Thank you for giving me the space to do that.
For the Egyptians that have commented, many of you are so understanding, humble and kind. You welcome my intense commentary and show me absolutely love and care. This gives me hope because I KNOW the good that is Egyptian people. I want the world to see this too. We have to stand for what's wrong, and act with our moral compass first. May God help Egypt and its people.”
Well that’s horrifying.
“Egypt. I made the mistake of going to a store on my own (dressed in a long-sleeved dress). The owner approached me, and started massaging my neck with a fragrant oil. I escaped and on the street, all men were laughing at me. Apparently I was wearing a scent that only prostitutes wear. Or so they told me. I was assaulted and ridiculed. I was staying at a 5* hotel, where a cleaner (male) took down my curtains. There were guys standing outside of my room after dark, waving at me and my friend, and laughing.”
Tourism is also definitely declining in the countries that these next few posts write about.
Definitely not worth a second trip.
“Jamaica…got mugged within the first 5 minutes I kid you not!”
“I don't think people realize how impoverished alot of Jamaica is. I'll never go back there either. I had a driver try to extort money from me on my honeymoon. The lady that set up the transportation at our resort was in on it. The driver accosted my wife demanding money for a previous ride he had given us but abandoned us so we had to find our own way back to the resort. I told my wife to go into the airport and he and I exchanged words.
He wanted the money for the return trip plus extra because he drove to pick us up for no reason. Mind you we waited over an hour for him. Once he realized I wasn't going to back down and I wasn't afraid of him calling the cops he backed down and left.”
A tough country to visit at the moment.fly flying GIF by Team CocoGiphy
“Haiti. Went on a medical mission. One day was spent at the beach. We got caught in the middle of a protest. I was groped, several other people were punched. It was terrifying. They only stopped when one of our translators yelled that we were medical workers.
We only ended up spending one hour at the beach so we wouldn't end up driving back through the same area at night. When we reached that area it was clear of people. A few overturned vehicles were on fire. A U.N. detail was hanging out in a big armored vehicle with a very large gun on top.
I can't imagine how awful it must be now with all of the civil unrest.”
At least Jimmy’s story had a happy ending.
“The Gambia in West Africa.
I've travelled to over 40 countries in my life including Egypt, Morocco, India and Cameroon and the Gambia is by far the worst of the bunch!
Went there in 2009 with my girlfriend (we were 20 at the time), it is by far the most corrupt country in the world.
Let me start by saying it's a beautiful country and the people there are the friendliest people you could wish to meet, but the way they are treated by the government is disgusting.
We met a local guy there called Jimmy Brave who lived in a hut on the beach with his young family, amazing guy, cooked us dinner every night and never wanted anything but friendship in return (we have him a fair bit of money on our last day, more than we usually would because he genuinely didn't want it)
Anyway one night we decided we wanted to check out the nightlife in the tourist area where it was safe, so my friend Jimmy agreed to meet us by the hotel entrance at 7PM, then we would take him for dinner and hit a few bars.
We got to the front of the hotel just before 7pm and Jimmy wasn't there, we waited around an hour, still no Jimmy.
At this point we assumed he had forgotten so we went back out of the rear exit onto the beach and to his hut, his wife said he had gone to meet us over an hour ago.
We searched for about 4 hours and still couldn't find him so his wife suggested we call the local tourist police, we called and they confirmed he had been arrested for loitering in front of the hotel.
We agreed to meet the head of police and arrived at the police station, this is where it got shady.
We went in and sat at a desk in a empty dark room, a big African guy in army clothing came in and sat in front of us, the guy had 2 cigs in his mouth smoking both at the same time.
He slammed his fist on the table and started shouting at us, demanding £500 (probably a years wages over there!) to release Jimmy.
Obviously we refused, after about an hour of arguing and various threats against us (we were a young white couple at the time and they assumed we were wealthy) we managed to agree on £70 and a 200-pack of cigs.
We paid and were told to wait outside, we were out there for over 2 hours and they brought the wrong guy out (we only knew our friend as Jimmy Brave not his real name so this proved challenging), anyway I was invited in to show the police who Jimmy was and had to pick him out of a huge cell filled with atleast 300 people, some who were very close to death.
Anyway Jimmy spotted me straight away and we had him released, when we got far enough away from the police station Jimmy broke down in tears, I’ve never seen a grown man cry like this in my life, he lifted up his top and he had several large open wounds where they had been whipping him in the cell and the police truck, we immediately took him to hospital where he remained for 2 days at a cost of £240ish (the hospital doctors were great).
So bare in mind he was beaten/whipped around 50 times (Hard!), just for waiting outside our hotel to take us for drinks.
And he was only released because we paid, if we had never turned up he said he would have died in there, they dont release the 'criminals' until somebody pays the corrupt police chief.
There was people literally dying in front of my eyes in the cell, I've always swore if I become rich I will be going back there just to release as many of these people as I possibly can (except any dangerous people who actually deserve to be there obviously)
This wasnt the only corruption from the police we seen while there it's just the main point, we seen police walking down the street slapping women and kids for absolutely no reason, one cop told me he would murder anyone I point out right now for £50 (he had an AK47).
I saw people dragged in the back of trucks never to be seen again just for asking people for a bottle of water.
I feel really sorry for the majority of the population in Senegambia as they are amazing happy people who have to live in constant fear of the police/government.
EDIT: I forgot to mention that Jimmy managed to move to the UK in 2016 with the help of me and another British family he met in the Gambia, he now lives in Stoke-on-Trent which is a few hours from where I live but we talk on facebook regularly and meet up once or twice a year.”
It can be really hard to see some of your dream travel spots turn into something different than it once was.
When even the hotel staff tells you not to leave the premises.schitts creek enjoy GIF by CBCGiphy
“South Africa, some random truck rolled up outside of our hotel and got in a shootout for no apparent reason. I walked out after the shooting to see around 7 people dead or at least injured, including our tour guide."
“My friend was told by the hotel management not to leave the hotel grounds for the duration of his stay.They'd wait at the gates of the hotel for the tourists to come out.
It sucks to see beautiful countries decline.
“Syria, I went before the civil war and it was honestly one of the loveliest places I've ever been, with super nice friendly people. Add to that the food is amazing. It would break my heart to see some of the places now.”
“My dad bought one of those "1000 places to see before you die" books on a whim a few years back. I think it was published in the early 2000s and it, of course, had Damascus in it. It was absolutely heartbreaking to see what used to be and it truly saddens me that I'll probably never get to see or experience it. It's one of the oldest and most culturally rich cities in the world, and today it's just full of rubble and death. It is a sobering reminder of how volatile this world is and how quickly things can change.”
Definitely not a good time to go back.
I would love to go back and be a tourist, but I don't think I will ever have the opportunity nor would it be responsible now that I have a family to vacation there. The country is absolutely beautiful, and the weather was nice. The people are one of the kindest, most respectful cultures I have ever had the pleasure of working with, full of beautiful traditions and fantastic food. Sadly, they have their issues and it wouldn't be wise to risk going there as a tourist. A real shame too, because I'd have loved to visit the resorts in Bamyan and go skiing and snowboarding there.”
Ok, let’s move past the negativity, and talk about which countries just aren’t certain peoples’ cups of tea.
I mean, fair.Independence Day Summer GIFGiphy
“Breaking the chains of Egypt and Afghanistan, lol.
The USA. Obviously not the same reasons as you guys have for Egypt and such..
I've been to NYC. It was pretty cool and I enjoyed it (although we didn't really do much touristy stuff like visit Liberty) but I don't really have any travel plans to the USA because I'm just not interested in it. I'm sure there are pretty places, but in terms of history, culture, food, etc. the US doesn't interest me.
I would quite like to visit Hawai'i some day, but I'm a little confused about what Hawaiians have said about how tourism negatively affects their economy, the lives of native Hawaiians, historical and cultural monuments and artefacts, etc. And I wouldn't want to visit a place where my tourism could be harmful to the people who live there. I can admire from afar.”
Not bad, just a little boring.
Not because it's dangerous. Not because of the people. It's the safest place I've been in and the people there are super nice.
Nothing happens there. Not in the four and a half years I've lived there. There is nothing fun there, it's got no interesting historical monuments. It's boring and there's nothing to see.
All I'll remember from there was the time spent in the international school, close friends, and everything I did outside of the country prior to the pandemic.”
“New Zealand. Nothing to do there and Kiwis have a massive inferiority complex. Wretched country. If I could sink both islands into the ocean I would.”
We get a bad rep, and probably deserve it.American Flag Girl GIF by DrivetanksGiphy
“Also USA. Worst place ever. An average American does not know anything outside the USA. They think they are the center of the world and they don't need to know anything about other countries. NYC is super polluted with beggars everywhere. I saw two people fighting with knifes at 1am. Over priced. Dirty. There are many racist people in the southern and middle States, add to this guns! People in the USA worship the dollar. They accept to do anything for money, no ethics. I didn't feel safe there.”
It is absolutely heartbreaking reading all of these stories. While there are bad people anywhere you go, it’s terrifying to hear about the extent that these things happen in other places.
The next time you plan a vacation, do your research.
As someone born in New York and living in Florida - I've become something of an unintentional expert on tourist tragedies. Tourists in both places end up making mistakes that leave locals beyond baffled.
Some tourist attractions are pretty obviously going to be at least a bit lame; like the world's biggest rubber band ball: it might be mildly interesting the first time, but that's about it.
Other common tourist destinations seem like they should fascinating and majestic, like seeing the Mona Lisa. Turns out, they're not all quite as great as they're made out to be.
Reddit user u/superlemondaze asked: