Dispatches from Cairo – Day 3 (Updated)

By James Metcalfe | May 30, 2011

by James Metcalfe – Pace Law Firm: I am passing though Tahrir Square, the site of the birth of the revolution. Not as chaotic as in past trips. We were at a luncheon today at the American Chamber of Commerce. We listened to a speech by the outgoing US ambassador, in which she pledged support for democratic renewal in Egypt.

Update:

Some observations:

Tourism is down. Hotels are running at 20 to 40 percent occupancy. In a restaurant which can seat about 120 people, there were 2 tables occupied, seven people in total. People are staying home.

It is impossible or difficult to take money out of the country.

Car sales have tanked as there is no credit available to buy cars. Banks are not lending money for hard goods.

Despite all the trouble , the city is safe – even crossing the streets is safer because of less traffic. Would I recommend for tourists come to Egypt? Definitely, yes. There are tourism bargains to be found, and the people are more than hospitable.