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Ministry of Foreign Affairs allows to have a rest in Egypt. Correction of the warning

Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs corrects its position. You can fly on a trip to Egypt! At the beginning of the summer season, July 2nd, after the clash between Islamic militias and Egyptian government forces which was on the northern Sinai Polish Foreign Ministry announced a communiqué in which there was an advice against travel to Egypt. Whole Egypt. Earlier, a similar warning was in force but the tourist areas were excluded. Since the beginning of July there were no exceptions.

MSZ-Egipt otwartyYou can imagine how it was taken by travel companies. It is hard for a bigger blow to their interests. Especially in the case of offices for which tours to Egypt have a significant share in the revenues. For some companies Ministry's decision proved to be fatal. Alpha Star, not long ago one of the leading Polish tour operators, fell. And although it is difficult to argue that the sole (or even primary) reason for the bankruptcy of Alfa Star was the Foreign Ministry’s warning but it certainly played a role. Alfa Star had problems stretching already for a long time and, probably, little could help it but it will remain as a mystery forever how much our authorities’ perception (and  - as a consequence - potential tourists’ perception) of the political situation in Egypt influenced the investor's decision about the resignation from the financing the company.

Other tour operators did not feel such dramatically the warning effect. Poland's biggest travel agency and also the main organizer of tours to Egypt – Itaka could cope thanks to the wide program and numerous offers in other destinations. Others coped similarly.

Holidays is over,  the main peak of trips has passed and now the Foreign Ministry announced the message that everything is OK. Strictly speaking, OK but only in tourist destinations mentioned by name: Hurghada, El Gouna, Safaga, Marsa Alam and Sharm El Sheikh. Travelling to these sites is no longer dissuaded. On a condition, however, that the travelling is by a direct flight and passengers are participants of a group tour, i.e. organized by a travel agency. Individually you should not go there even if you buy a seat on a charter plane.

Trips to other resorts are still not recommended. Most travel agencies do not organize stays in the Sinai outside Sharm El Sheikh. But there are exceptions. Some companies (Exim Tours, Wezyr-Coral Travel), for which Egypt is an important destination - from a business point of view, promote trips to Dahab which is located on the Gulf of Aqaba (eastern Sinai). And Itaka in its Christmas and New Year's Eve offer has tours to Taba, a city lying not far from Israeli border.

MFA’s soothing position communiqué - even though the summer season is over - appeared in fairly good time for travel agents. November is a month considered as  a part of the high season in Egypt. Bad weather in Europe encourages its citizens to seek more pleasant sites. Not all can afford trips to the Caribbean and the prices of tours to Egypt are enticing. Travel agents have the opportunity to increase sales and improve their financial results which in the autumn months usually do not impress.

 

October 28th, 2015