Cut-price deals and value-added packages are being used to entice tourists back to Egypt while prices are holding firm for Tunisia.
Operators are working with suppliers to put together competitive packages to aid Egypt’s recovery, and all travel bans to the country have been lifted following the end of anti-government protests.
A poll by travel portal Easyvoyage suggests demand for Egypt is returning faster, with half of British travellers willing to visit this year compared to just 20% willing to visit Tunisia in the near future.
Cosmos overseas purchasing and operations director Katy Sayburn, who visited Sharm this week, said: “Suppliers have got the most incredible can-do attitude.
“They will do anything to recover the market to Sharm. It’s just a question of getting the right price messages out, and word of mouth that it’s a great destination.”
Cosmos is offering seven nights at the Savita Resort & Spa in Sharm el-Sheikh, departing on March 4, for £317, down from £743 – a 58% reduction.
Longwood Holidays hopes to see a bookings spike after this week’s payday. It is offering seven nights at the Hilton Long Beach Hurghada for £445, departing on March 4, down from £775.
Marketing manager Tara Bradberry said: “Hotels have responded really well.”
Cox & Kings is working on tactical added-value promotions for the coming weeks. Middle East product manager Mark Stacey said: “We have been going to hotels and looking for outstanding offers.”
Red Sea Holidays is running two fam trips of 40 agents instead of one. Sales director Jason Hilton said: “It’s a great opportunity to restore agents’ confidence.”
In contrast, Tunisia operators and airlines have supported the Tunisian interim government’s edict to hoteliers not to drop prices to spark a recovery.
At a gathering of operators, airlines and suppliers last week there was widespread agreement the destination would bounce back strongly during the summer because it already offered value for money.
However, 80% of respondents to Easyvoyage’s poll said they would not visit Tunisia in the near future, citing lack of information about the country rather than its recent troubles.
The unrest has seen the Tunisian dirham devalue against the pound to about 2.2 from about 1.8.
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