Our friends at Nonviolence International have just launched a boycott in support of the mass nonviolent uprising in Egypt that we should all sign on to. Here are the details:
We call on you to show your support for the Egyptian people by participating in a full boycott of tourism in Egypt until President Mubarak resigns. This boycott is paired with a pledge to visit Egypt and revitalize the tourism industry once President Mubarak resigns. Be a part of this campaign to prove that a free, democratic Egypt will enjoy prosperity far beyond the unkept promises made by President Mubarak.
With tourism making up about 11 percent of Egypt’s gross domestic product, a widespread international boycott on travel to country has the potential to be very effective in adding pressure to the regime to step down.
And once Mubarak’s reign comes to an end, in addition to the pyramids tourists will flock to Egypt to visit Tahrir Square!
To sign the petition, click here.
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I wonder about the effectiveness of a tourism boycott. It appeared that among the “pro-Mubarak thugs” were tour guides who were desperate for money because of the drop-off in tourism that has already occurred. A boycott might make those who rely on tourism for their livelihoods more susceptible to the lure of pay for fighting. I would rather see more foreign observers in Egypt right now than fewer.
On the other hand, there’s just as much incentive for tour guides to see the protesters win. Since it’s clear that the protesters will not be appeased by compromise, anything short of the immediate departure of the entire Mubarak regime will likely foment further unrest, thus hurting the tourism industry. So tour guides may want to consider supporting and joining the protests. Perhaps the boycott will make them realize that a stable and democratic Egypt is in their best interest as well. Furthermore, they may realize that helping the protests will bring about a resolution quicker than opposing them or sitting on the sidelines.