Backstory - Egypt's tourism downturn

Given I was without a filming permit I decided to shift the focus of my story away from hotspot Cairo where I might encounter challenges using a commercial video camera. Instead I travelled south to Aswan and Luxor on the banks of the Nile.

My story was looking at the statistical downturn in tourism and the reality on the ground at some of the world’s most popular tourist attractions. It was astonishing to walk through empty courtyards at Egypt’s spectacular temples and world-class museums, which are usually overcrowded with visitors. The lack of business probably aided my efforts to secure footage. Ticket-sellers and guards were generally affable, happy to wave me through after a little baksheesh and the purchase of an inexpensive ‘camera ticket’. Nevertheless I was at times nervous and constantly alert for any shifts in attitude.

Securing interviews was also straightforward. Everybody involved in the tourism industry -- and that was the majority of people I met -- were keen to speak, almost pleading for tourists to return. They tried to emphasise how Egypt was now safe. It was a naturally biased appraisal which I had to edit with care in order to maintain their opinion yet not mislead viewers; within a few weeks of my trip there were demonstrations and casualties on Egypt’s streets.