Workers at the Sana'a office of the Yemen Government Tourism Agency were surprised today by rampant rumors of layoffs.
"Nothing has prepared us for this sudden change of plans," explained Hasna from behind the reception desk. "We had just started a new campaign of advertizing all over Europe and North America. Everyone is worried about their jobs here now. But I can't talk to you any longer. I have to get back to work."
Talk among employees in the tea break room was discouraging. Omar said his brother told him the whole place was going to be shut down next week.
New posters in the lobby promised "Drone Watching Opportunities Await You in Yemen" and "Come for the Heat, Spy for the CIA".
The tourist business in Yemen has gotten off to a slow start in the last 50 years since slavery was abolished there, according to sources in the travel industry. Some cost cutting was expected.