The possibility of alcohol ban has once again created some fear in the Egypt's tourism industry. The industry is worried that about alcohol ban even though experts see it unlikely to be imposed.
The fear was sparked when Mohamed Morsi lead government decided not to issue any alcohol license. This decision was announced last week. The Freedom and Justice Party has decided not to issue any alcohol license in some urban areas to stop the spread of debauchery in Egyptian society.
The conservative Freedom and Justice Party that has strong links with Muslim Brotherhood has once again raised the debate among the tourism stakeholders. Although the ban is not likely to affect any tourist destination including Sharm El Sheikh and other Red Sea Resorts, there is growing fear of conservatism that could spell doom for tourism industry.
Some newspapers in Egypt are seeing this news as disaster for the tourism. However experts believe that there is a marginal possibility of something like that. The stakes are too high for the Egyptian government to ban sales of alcohol in the tourist destinations.
No matter how much Egyptian government may see tourism as anti-Islamic, it can't ignore the importance of tourism in the local economy. Such move is only likely to further escalate the tensions.
Egyptian people are very concerned about the economy and would not approve of any move that could harm the tourism industry. Red Sea Resorts were built with their own rules and lifestyle which is quite different from rest of the Egypt. It is highly unlikely that any government would interfere in that.
Experts feel that such ban is more likely to be imposed in places like Luxor and Aswan. There is a feeling in government that tourists would continue to visit these destinations even with the alcohol ban. However such is not the situation for Red Sea Resorts.
However in the long term, nobody is sure whether the liberals will be able to offer enough resistance to avoid alcohol ban. If and when such ban is introduced, it would only hurt the tourism in big way.
Egypt has only started to find some relief from the tourists even as the unrest continues. Last year 11.5 million tourists visited Egypt which is more than 17 per cent over 2010. However the figure is still well short of 2009.