It all started last year with the eruption of the volcano with the most unpronounceable name ever, the Finnish Eyjafjallajökull. People could not come, but could not leave either. Diving tourism in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, took the first hit. Even those who were not able to return home could not save the matter – their holiday money had finished and so there was no other option than to spend the obligatory vacation hanging around the hotel pool.
Later that year something else happened that no one would have ever thought possible. The normally quiet Red Sea Riviera around Sharm was unexpectedly plagued by a remarkable number of shark “attacks”. The fact that the media neglected to mention that a large part in the cause of this unusual behavior was due to human activity, has not helped much. As expected, not many tourists wanted to make a try-dive, and even the die-hard divers seemed less at ease in the water.
And then came the final blow. After having lived under oppression for 30 years, the Egyptian people came in revolt against dictator Mubarak and started the long road to democracy. Unfortunately this did not happen without violence and many people lost their lives. Still today, the battle continues. Understandably fewer and fewer tourists are willing to come to Egypt and so the beach chairs remain empty.