What to do about a weak tourism industry in your politically-volatile country? Court the Chinese. I mean, what countries aren't inducing China for more bilateral relations in some manner right now?
This isn't a new thing--just look at Greece, Spain, Portugal…they see how Chinese travelers have "quietly surpassed their American and Japanese counterparts" to become Italy's biggest foreign spenders.
While Egypt may not be as worried about a lack of foreign travelers like their neighbor Syria, that isn't stopping the country's tourism minister from wooing visitors from China. President Mohamed Morsi and staff in Beijing this week (only his third official overseas trip since taking office) described China as Egypt's "good brother, friend, and partner." Chinese tourists in Egypt have increased 20% annually as compared to the weak 5% world tourist growth rate.
There's simply no denying it--China has the masses when it comes to international number crunching, and their citizens are increasingly visiting more "exotic" locales vis-a-vis their growing wallets. While China's influence in Africa is nothing new, the focus on it certainly has sharpened in recent years. Egypt is often excluded from this sort of generalization despite being technically on the African continent, but it's easy to see China's power expanding towards the Middle East as well (ironically, despite their uneasiness with the Arab Spring overall).