An independent tour operator has warned of a “change of mood” in Sharm el Sheikh and has advised customers not to leave their hotel.
The Red Sea resorts are not included in the current Foreign Office warning against all but essential travel to Egypt. An evening curfew was in place in Sharm el Sheikh on August 14; however it was lifted at 6am yesterday morning.
Jono Vernon-Powell, owner of Aito operator Nomadic Thoughts, said the atmosphere in the destination had changed over the past week.
He said: “As a loyal Egypt holiday tour operator we have always been bullish on sending clients to Egypt. However, the mood has significantly altered over the past week.
“Bearing in mind we heavily rely on our local destination management company for up-to-date information – one of the main differences now is that they are showing extreme concern for all clients, with such unpredictability.”
He added: “We are monitoring it through our suppliers on an hourly basis, not least as we are so concerned for their own safety. The good news is that it is August and peak summer so tourist numbers are considerably down. The overriding message to tourists today is stay poolside, within hotel confines, keeping mobile phones on.”
Tui Travel and Thomas Cook said they were continually monitoring the situation. Kuoni is offering customers booked to travel to areas included in the Foreign Office warning the chance to cancel or rebook an alternative destination, but holidays to Sharm el Sheikh are going ahead.
Intrepid said today it has cancelled all trips to Egypt until September 30 and The Adventure Company has cancelled all family trips until December 31. All passengers will receive a full refund of ground trip costs or the option to book an alternative trip without any amendment fees.
“The safety of our passengers, leaders and operators remains our top priority and we will continue to monitor the situation in Egypt closely with our local office in Cairo. We hope to run trips departing in October, but appreciate that some passengers may be concerned about travelling then and are therefore offering transfers to another trip without amendment fees,” said James Thornton, Intrepid Group managing director.
Germany has advised its citizens not to travel to the Red Sea tourist resorts. Thomas Cook Germany, TUI Germany, DER Touristik and FTI said customers would get the chance to rebook to other destinations free of charge.
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