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High season in Egypt is at risk again?

08:07, 25 ноября 2011

Tour operators interviewed by RATA-news gave their comments on intensification of the situation in Cairo, where more than 30 people have been killed in the past 4 days. Tahrir Square is the center of conflict again. Clashes also took place in other Egyptian cities, including Alexandria and Suez. Thousands of protestants demand Egypt’s Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and the Cabinet of Ministers, ruling the country since ex-president Hosni Mubarak had been toppled on February, 11, to step down. Rostourism advices Russian tourists against visiting Cairo or leaving the resort area. Russian Foreign Ministry have released a similar recommendation on Monday.


“Tourists should be cautious, avoid trips to Cairo, Alexandria and other cities where mass meetings or protests may be held, avoid crowded places, always have their ID and Russian Embassy telephone numbers on hand”, - says Rostourism in its announcement. The Agency also reminds to tour operators and travel agents that they should inform tourists “of dangers they can face while travelling to Egypt, of situation in Cairo, other cities and resort areas”. Sports and Tourism Ministry applied to Russian Union of Travel Industry with the same recommendations the day before.


Meanwhile, tour operators say that Egypt riots did not affect tourists yet. According to them, there have been no trip cancellations so far, although the amount of reservations has decreased. “There were no cancellations yet, but I leave the possibility that they may appear within the nearest hours”, - said Anna Podgornaya - general manager of Pegas Touristik. According to her, the disorders didn't touch the resort areas, so there is no threat for tourists in Hurghada and Sharm-El-Sheikh. “We place the official information from Foreign Ministry of Russia on our website, so tourists can get acquainted with it. As for trips to Cairo, we quitted them long ago. All of the sightseeing itineraries are inside the resort areas”, - pointed out Ms. Podgornaya.


TEZ Tour's PR-director Marina Makarkova says that the most common question to a tour operator today is about the situation on the resorts. “We tell them it`s calm in Hurghada and Sharm-El-Sheikh. How`s the situation going on in Cairo we, as well as them, get known from media”, - mentioned Ms. Makarkova.


The representative of Vand International Tatyana Markova also told us that tourists are questioning about the situation at the resorts. She says that they were some calls from worried clients, who were having their trips on some of these days. But later they decided not to cancel their tours.


Experts say it was quite predictable that there will be mass protests before the elections. Tour operators managed to adjust their season`s plans. None of them is going to decrease the number of flights or give discounts in order to attract tourists. “New Year tours to Egypt are in stable demand. There was a sales lift on the destination a week ago, but the dynamics was not that good earlier. Again, sales have slowed down a bit for now. We expect the demand for the New Year and winter vacations to be 25-30% lower than the previous year`s”, - stated Ms. Podgornaya.


According to the words of Marina Makarkova, when compared to the previous year, the downturn of the Egyptian destination is about 40% now. The same applies to the New Year. “There is a demand, sales go pretty much as we expected”, - said TEZ Tour representative.


Anex Tour's PR-manager Evgeniya Fedorova reported that Egypt sales depth reaches one week in Moscow and more than two weeks in the rest of the country. New Year flights, declared by the tour operator, are 65-70% full right now. “Hotel prices have insignificantly changed compared to last year. Average price of a week package for two in a 4-star hotel is about 40 thousand roubles. The New Year by the pyramids will cost from 74,000 roubles ($2500) for two”, - said Evgeniya. However, tour operators think this “low-profile” price-policy of Egyptian hoteliers is fully justified. Otherwise it will be difficult for them to hold their tour product afloat.

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