Coup d’état in Egypt seriously hits tourism
ISTANBUL - Anadolu AgencyEgypt’s tourism has been seriously hit following the coup d’état as foreign tourists seek alternative holiday destinations, tourism sector professionals from Turkey have said.
“Egypt has lost 1 million tourists at least. There are many cancellations of reservations,” said Veli Çilsal, the chairman of Anı Tour. Çilsal stated that they used to cancel only trips to Cairo but as the incidents expanded to the other regions the tourism almost stopped in Egypt. “Egypt has many tourism centers like Aswan, Luxor, Hurghada and Sharm El Sheikh. After the incidents took place there [along with Cairo], the tours are all canceled,” he said, adding that they could make any tour sales from Turkey to Egypt.
“The English government has issued a red notice that forbids its citizens to go to Sharm El Sheikh. As we heard that other European Union member countries will take such measures,” Çilsal said. He noted that the tourists from the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands, whose people used to prefer Egypt for holidays, were now considering other destinations such as Spain, Italy and Greece.
Turkey was also one of the countries that were affected by the current situation, he said, stressing that the stability in the region – especially in Egypt and Tunisia – would be more advantageous for Turkey. A part of the cancelled tours have shifted to Turkey but mostly Russians prefer Turkey, not Europeans, he said.
Spain winning country in this period
Mehmet Ersoy, the chairman of ETS Tour, said the majority of tourists who cancelled their holidays in Egypt chose Spain as an alternative. “Spain has become the winner in this period,” he said. He also noted that recent incidents in Egypt didn’t lead to tourist numbers rising in Turkey but that they tolerated the decrease due to the Gezi Park protests.
However, Ali Onaran, the chairman of Pronto Tour, said he expected that more than 500,000 tourists would shift from Egypt to Turkey. He stated that Turkey was one of the main rivals of Egypt around the coast of the Mediterranean and the two countries had similar prices. “A Russian tourist that gave up on going to Sharm El Sheikh off the coast of the Red Sea in Egypt will most likely prefer Antalya [the southern province of Turkey],” he said.