Egypt has been working hard to change its worldwide image. The country relies a lot on its travel industry for economic stimulation. Due to the unrest that has been seen in Cairo, holidaymakers have been steering clear of the country.
The Tourism Minister for Egypt recently said that the nation would try to change its image by getting tourists to focus on other areas around Egypt besides just Cairo. He had hoped that this would help spur on the travel industry.
These hopes have been dashed due to a recent attack on a tourist bus in Taba, South Sinai. At least four people were confirmed dead from the explosion. Local police say that it was a suicide bomber who attacked the tourist bus. The driver of the bus and three tourists were killed in the attack.
As a result, the Foreign Office is advising against travel to parts of Egypt. This was the last thing Egypt needed for its already wounded tourism industry. The warning tells British holidaymakers to stay away from resorts in Taba and Dahab. Travellers who are planning to travel to these areas over the next few days are advised to change their plans or check for updates with their tour operators.
The Foreign Office said that it believes there is an increased threat right now from terrorism in Egypt, and they believe that terrorists will continue with planned attacks. The attacks taking place in Egypt are indiscriminate, will occur without warning and could happen to anyone. The terrorists are likely targeting Egyptian authorities and protesters. That being said, attacks on visitors must not be ruled out either. When passing by security forces, government buildings or other such facilities, tourists should be vigilant.
This warning gives travellers three options. They can defer their travel dates and travel on different dates; they can travel to another resort in Egypt or another country; or they can choose to get a full refund. Travellers would not normally be able to get a full refund, but due to the fact that the Foreign Office has issued a travel warning to this area, tour operators are required to offer refunds.
Travellers who booked package deals should be completely covered. Those who did not book a package deal will need to check out the terms and conditions of their airline tickets and hotel accommodations separately. In this case, it is a good idea to contact the airline first. Unfortunately, airlines do not have to give consumers full refunds. On top of that, changing flight plans might result in fees.
Resorts in Egypt are doing their best to put minds at ease. In fact, the resort areas of Sharm el Sheikh have announced that they have increased security measures to help protect visitors. Unfortunately, the damage might have already been done because a number of tourists have been ending their journeys early and heading back to the UK.