In the backdrop of the bombings in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheikh, it would be natural to expect that the tourism to that place would be drastically reduced. But in a surprising statement, tour operators have said that they have not had as many cancellations as they expected in the aftermath of the bombings.
Top tour operator Thomas Cook has said that it would waive amendment fees for people wanting to switch their destinations away from Egypt and consider each such request on a case-by-case basis. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office website has warned travelers to Turkey and Egypt that a substantial threat exists in those countries and that travelers who still choose to go there do so at their own risk. Three Britons have so far been confirmed dead in the Sharm bombings while another seven are listed as missing.
However, apart from asking travelers to remain vigilant Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw has asked them to go on as they normally would. In this situation, the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) said that tour operators could continue to take bookings for holidays in Sharm el-Sheik, “The FO is not advising against travel to the area and, as such, tour operators’ normal terms and conditions apply unless the tour operator is unable to provide the contracted services,” said an ABTA spokesman. Customers, who were scheduled to halt at the Ghazala Gardens Hotel in Namma Bay, are being accommodated elsewhere as that particular hotel has been badly hit by the blasts.
Harry Helps, a spokesman for Thomson said, “Bookings to Egypt will be down for the remainder of the summer, but Egypt is quick to recover, we’re hoping bookings will be back to normal for the peak winter season.”
Meanwhile, it has emerged that post the 7/7 London bombings, the UK has been hit with a £150 million loss as visitors to the country are expected to reconsider traveling to the UK.