European Governments Issue Warnings About Travel To Egypt And May Consider Evacuations If Violence Worsens

on August 17 2013 6:54 PM
Egyptian Tourism
The popular resort of Sharm el-Sheikh has remained largely removed from the instability and violence elsewhere in Egypt. Reuters

The violence in Egypt has prompted Europe’s largest tour operator, TUI, to cancel thousands of trips bought by German vacationers until mid-September, BBC News reported. The decision was made in the wake of the crackdown on the demonstrations that began after Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was ousted from power and led to protesters’ camps being bulldozed by the army.

TUI’s main rival, Thomas Cook, announced similar measures for its German customers, BBC News said.

Vacationers currently in Egypt have been told they can stay until the end of their planned trips, and Thomson, the U.K. unit of TUI, said that trips to the country’s Red Sea resorts could continue for now.

However, Thomas Cook has canceled all excursions from Red Sea resorts to tourist destinations such as Cairo, Luxor, Moses Mountain and St. Catherine’s Monastery, BBC News reported. “Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada are fully operational, and holidaymakers are continuing to enjoy these popular resorts,” a Thomas Cook representative said.

TUI said customers wishing to return home should contact their tour managers. “TUI is monitoring the situation in Egypt very closely and has an emergency task force which is in constant contact with the authorities and the tour leaders on site,” the company added.

Earlier, U.K. authorities asked vacationers to stay inside hotels in the Red Sea and Hurghada areas after a man was killed in Hurghada on Wednesday. “Hurghada police advised tourists to remain in hotel grounds,” the U.K. Foreign Office said a statement.

ABTA, self-described as the U.K.’s leading travel association, has calculated there are about 40,000 British tourists in Red Sea resorts at the moment.

Meanwhile, the French, Russian and Spanish governments have issued warnings similar to the one sounded by the U.K. Speaking of the possibility of evacuating of his country’s nationals from Egypt, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said, “We will see how the situation evolves.”

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