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MOSCOW, August 20 (Itar-Tass) - About 90% of tourists who have booked tours to Egypt will cancel them, the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) reported on Tuesday with reference to representatives of travel companies. They are mainly the citizens who planned departures for the “troubled” country for later dates.
“Those who bought travel packages with later departures cancel their trips most often. For example, planes that were departing from 16 to 19 August were practically filled,” the ATOR said. “There are those who want to go on vacation to Egypt also among tourists with departures after August 20. Neither managers of travel agencies or television news stories have persuaded them not to fly to Egypt. Most of those who refused to fly to Egypt prefer not to cancel the holiday tours altogether, choosing alternative destinations and paying an extra price.
“Our tourists are to fly out on August 25. We tried to persuade them to change the destination, but they only want to go to Egypt. The tourists were planning to fly to Hurghada, but we managed to persuade them to at least change this resort for Sharm el-Sheikh. Tourists write an acknowledgement that they had been warned about the situation in the country,” the ATOR quotes a manager of a travel agency in Tver. According to the agency, most companies face a similar situation.
At the same time, despite the mass cancelling of tours, according to tour operators, already now there are individual cases of booking of tours to Egypt for later dates. Some even cancel tours with the firms that have curtailed the “Egyptian” programs, and rebook the tours with those tour operators that still offer flights to Egypt. According to ATOR, the number of those wishing to fly to Egypt in Moscow is less than in the country’s regions. “The possible reason is the small number of tours from regions to other destinations,” tour operators suggested.
Still nobody wants to return from Egypt ahead of time. “The only inconvenience is too many policemen in the streets. There is no panics among the tourists, and most of them do not understand why there is so much discussion of Egypt on TV,” the ATOR quotes an employee of a local hotel. “Trips to Cairo and to Giza to the pyramids have been cancelled, but it’s August now and it is very hot, so even if they were not cancelled, not many people would want to travel there by bus in the heat.” According to her, the locals believe that the situation will return to normal maximum in a month.