Will Egypt ever return to the tourist trail?

Thousands of tourists are still eager to visit this part of the Middle East

Surprisingly, despite ongoing and unpredictable incidents such as last weekend’s violence involving the country’s Coptic Christian minority, Egypt is continuing to welcome tourists from around the world. The January to August period saw a 46% drop in arrivals from the key US market, year-on-year, but that still represents 121,000 tourists from a single market. “Despite all of these issues and actions, […] tourists are still flying to Egypt,” Mohamed Hegazy of the Egypt Tourist Authority says. “We are still in a transition period. Definitely you can predict some of these demonstrations and some of these minor incidents. But it’s not targeting any tourists.”
The luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent reports twice the number of bookings in October than it had in August. The guided family vacations company Adventures by Disney is continuing with trips to the Pyramids, Cairo, Aswan, Luxor, the Nile and Sharm El Sheikh. But cruise lines are less enthusiastic. Carnival Corp has moved out of Egypt at least until 2013 and Celebrity Cruises has just cancelled five Holy Land sailings for 2012.


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