The wave of violent anti-government protests in Egypt and possible regime change could hurt Israel’s incoming tourism, the School of Management at the Israeli Center for Academic Studies assesses.
According to available data, 165,000 tourists entered Israel from Egypt in 2010, and 270,000 came to Israel as day tourists from Egypt via the Taba crossing. 170,000 tourists arrived in Israel via tourist cruises that embarked from Egypt and docked at Israeli ports. In addition, pilgrims from Japan and South Korea often purchase travel packages to Egypt that include short visits to Israel.
It is unclear whether it will be possible to redirect some of the tourists who came to Egypt toward an Israel-focused trip. Full data will be presented by the Incoming Tourism Organizers Bureau at the IMTM tourism conference.
In related news, the Standard & Poor’s credit rating agency has lowered Egypt’s credit rating by one grade to BB, the firm announced Tuesday, adding that it might downgrade Egypt’s rating again in the next three months if the country’s political situation continues to deteriorate.
“The rating reduction is the result of our projection that the violent demonstrations of the past week will continue, despite the appointment of a vice president and President Hosni Mubarak’s dissolution of the government on January 29,” S&P said.
Moody’s has also reduced Egypt’s credit rating by a grade to Ba2, and changed its credit outlook from stable to negative.
Wednesday marked the ninth day of the anti-government violence in Egypt, despite Mubarak’s promise that he would not seek reelection, with hundreds of thousands of protesters demanding that Mubarak abdicate power immediately. The political violence has caused banks to close for four straight days, creating a cash shortage and keeping people from receiving their paychecks.