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Political instability in Egypt stops Russian tourists - operators

October 12, 2011, 16:32 UTC+3

"“This direction traditionally attracts tourists by modest price,” tour operators said

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MOSCOW, October 12 (Itar-Tass) — Political instability in Egypt prevents the restoration of a tourist flow from Russia to Egyptian resorts, sources from the Association of Russian Tour Operators said on Wednesday.

“This direction traditionally attracts tourists by modest prices. And even now, despite a seasonal growth in prices for November holidays and the New Year, Egypt remains the most budget friendly beach-related holiday direction,” tour operators said.

However, “in connection with instability in the country, tour operators form their flight programs with more caution, proceeding from the fact that the volume of transportation at the moment has dropped by up to 30 percent, and there are less bookings,” they added.

The director general of the Pegas Touristik Company, Anna Podgornaya, said in winter the volume of transportation would be about 30 percent lower than last year. According to Tez Tour, the amount of sales has dropped 20 to 25 percent, and accordingly the volume of transportation must be reduced proportionally”.

Anna Gurenchuk from the travel agency Well says “last season was a difficult one. At first the demand was affected by the appearance of sharks in Egyptian resorts, then by a revolution…” She believes that most likely clients will think of other directions, such as Thailand or Vietnam. “Already now some tourists prefer to pay an additional amount of money, but go to a country where the situation is more stable,” she said.

Sources from the Association of Russian Tour Operators said a curfew has been imposed in the centre of the Egyptian capital at the moment and the situation in disorder-affected areas is controlled by the army and police.

Russian tourists have not suffered from clashes between Muslims and Coptic Christians, as resort areas were not affected.

According to the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism, last year 2.2 million Russian tourists spent their holidays in Egypt against 1.615 million people in 2009. One million Russian tourists spent their holidays in Egypt in the first half of this year, while last year this figure stood at 916,000 tourists.


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