At 9.30am in Luxor’s Valley of the Kings, the sun is high in the sky and inside the famed 63 tombs it’s starting to get humid. This should be peak time for visitors, but there are few footprints in the dust leading to each tomb. About 50 tourists stroll in and out of the tombs, or fan themselves in the shade. “This is about as busy as it gets,” said Aamer Ibrahim, a Luxor native who has worked in tourism all his professional life. He gestured at a spot about 200 metres from the entrance to the tomb of Ramses IV. “People used to have to queue – the line would stretch to there.” There is a guilty, selfish pleasure in standing alone in the tomb of Tutankhamun, or having the stars and hieroglyphs in the tomb of Ramses IV almost to myself. But for an industry reliant on E£100 (£9) entry tickets to the Valley of the Kings (plus extra to see Tutankhamun’s mummy and gilded sarcophagus), this is a disaster. Egyptian tourism is heavily pegged to its the political fortunes. A revolution in early 2011, a popularly backed military coup in 2013, and a series of high-profile airline… Read full this story
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