Even as Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak vowed to step down at the next election, social and political unrest in the country continues to take a toll on the country’s tourism. While airlines are cancelling flights and countries are flying travelers back home, Russian Federal Air Transportation Agency might ban charter flights to Egypt, a tourism official said on Tuesday.
Unfortunately tourists continue to fly to Egyptian resorts in spite of warnings from the Foreign Ministry, the Sport and Tourism Ministry, the Federal Tourism Agency, tour operators and travel agencies, the official was quoted as saying by Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
Egypt has been witnessing violent anti-government protests in streets since January 25, seeking Mubarak’s resign and reform in governance. According to official figures, the violence has already claimed at least 150 lives and injured over 4,000 people.
According to the Russian association of tour operators, about 45,000 Russian tourists remained in Egypt but foreign ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich said, their evacuation was not yet considered practical.
Last week, Thomas Cook, UK’s leading tour operator, had reported that some of the tourist sites off Cairo - including Pyramids of Giza, the Great Sphinx and the popular resorts of Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada - were safe. However, Saturday’s incidents at Cairo’s Egyptian Museum, which was ransacked by protesters, have put the country's safest tourist sites on high alert as well.