An Egypt specialist has warned the trade could face a major challenge securing hotel rooms for clients next year.
Discover Egypt has already received stop-sale notices from hotels it usually books with because they are full up.
Commercial director Philip Breckner said the tour operator was having particular problems finding availability at upmarket hotels, such as the Four Seasons Resort in Sharm el-Sheikh.
He blamed the problem on the fact the UK’s strict travel rules had forced hotels to turn to other overseas markets to fill their rooms, such as the US, Germany and Russia, and because many clients due to have gone this year or last year had now been rebooked for 2022.
He said: “I have been receiving stop-sale notices from hotels to say they are full up for next October in Sharm el-Sheikh. It’s also becoming challenging to get high end hotel rooms for Christmas and New Year.
“By the time we do get to send people there, there will be nothing left to sell.”
Although Egypt was taken off the red list this week following the recent traffic light announcement, the Foreign Office continues to have a Covid advisory in place advising against all but essential travel to the destination and others such as the Maldives.
This means anyone travelling to the destination needs to have special ‘Covid’ insurance policy in place, while tour operators will be forced to cancel and rebook any existing imminent departures unless the FCDO advice changes.
Although Discover Egypt has guaranteed rooms in certain hotels, which it can send clients to, properties it does not have allocations with are unlikely to become available to clients, he said.
He said: “The UK is one of the few countries not letting people into Egypt at the moment. We have room allocations at hotels but there are certain properties that are full up already and it‘s very frustrating.”
Meanwhlle, Tui has extended holiday cancellations to Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt by a week until October 16.