Seeing as how in Hurghada we are also witnessing many of these "deals and steals," I thought it appropriate to re-post this blog from my friend Leanne.
Personally, I have witnessed people being made redundant, heard whispers of half salaries within my own office, seen many businesses forced to close (particularly many bazaars that rely on the tourism revenue), watched the dwindling number of tourism buses on the road. I think this was perhaps the most notably absent factor; living in Hurghada you don't actually realise how many tourism companies and their buses are driving around until they disappear. Thankfully, we are starting to see a rise in the number of tour company buses on the roads again, but no where near what people had hoped we would be seeing at this time of the year. Many hotels are still under booked, many tour companies still suffering. On the up side, as Karim mentioned to me the other day, with the unrest in Egypt tourists coming in to Hurghada will not be looking at tours around the country. This means for local based tourism companies, tour leaders and groups will primarily be selling local tours. One can hope that this is indeed the case. Only time will tell at this point. But let me say, from a Hurghada standpoint, a tourism economy that was already suffering due to the "economic crisis" in the rest of the world cannot withstand the lack of revenue flowing into the city for long. I only hope that Hurghada does not end up akin to many of the town settlements built in Ireland during their last "boom," that now stand empty and desolate.
Letters from Egypt: Revolutionary Deals and Steals
|Taken Thursday on my way to Nasr City|
A revolution is like Black Friday, known as the Friday after Thanksgiving that is a US retailer’s biggest dream. On that day, American shops extend opening hours (often opening around 4 am) and see the largest figures produced for the entire year based on customers coming out en masse to kick off the holiday season.
So maybe Egypt’s revolution isn’t just like Black Friday. Hours have decreased because of curfew (the end of life as we know it – who knew I was still a teenager living under my parents’ roof) and the shelves are less packed; nonetheless, there are some deals and steals going on (more steals than deals though as the population continues to spin out of control).
One of my favorite restaurants, Fuego’s Sushi Bar & Grill, has introduced a 20% discount as a revolutionary congratulations. Unfortunately, their clientele was mostly foreign and in case you haven’t heard the news, many were evacuated and have yet to return – in addition to those that will never return per company relocation. I wonder how difficult it will be for local international schools to recruit teachers for the next school year, but I digress. According to a GM at the restaurant, revenue has decreased substantially. Although there has been an uptick recently after this offer, the restaurant is still down approximately 35% in sales compared to pre-revolution days. However, who can beat 20% off on an already SLAMMIN all you can eat sushi dinner on Sundays?
Today I got a text message that said:
“Due to the incredible success of the Revolution Burger Meal Promotion, The Burger Kitchen now offers a brand new Revolution Chicken Meal for only 10LE.”
A boutique near my apartment has a sign in the window for 70% off. I think it’s safe to say that store isn’t going to be around much longer (not to mention all the tops were already 350LE and ugly – I think 70% off on most of the items still doesn’t cut it).
And what’s even better is that employers are now using the revolution as an excuse to only pay their staff half a month’s wages.
Another steal was seen today by a friend driving down Zahraa road:
A group of six men were stopping cars attempting to get the driver to smell their “perfume.” As crime rate has increased, alerts are high. I think it’s also safe to assume that might be another steal in the making and perfume isn’t necessarily what you’re going to smell, but some weird Egyptian homemade remedy of Knock You Out and Jack Your Car.
|Taken in Metro market today AND it's real...REAL SCARY|