Sa, 2.12.2023

Estonian agents keep selling trips to Egypt

Liina Valdre
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Tour operators of Estonia have not cancelled sales of trips to Egypt for the winter, while Finnish and Russian colleagues have announced a full stop.

Travel agency Estravel has decided to advise its clients to opt for other destination instead of Egypt, and has cancelled ad campaigns. Estravel is not into organising Egypt trips itself; what they do is resell other agencies’ products.

«As of today, Estonian travel agents have not announced cancellation of the Egyptian season; however, on Monday, we received word from Finnish tour operators Aurinkomatkat and Finnmatkat, who are cancelling this year’s Egyptian trip sales,» commented the company’s marketing and communications manager Janika Ritson.

The Finnish tour operator Aurinkomatkat announced, on Monday, of having cancelled all Egyptian trips from October to April, citing the emergency situation in the country. According to their marketing director Anna Salmi, the company keeps an eye on the developments and makes next year’s plans accordingly. 

Estonian tour operator Goadventure CEO Marina Moks told Postimees they have not, right now, cancelled their trips, substantiating it by the Egyptian situation now stabilising. Ms Moks added that they are still monitoring the developments.

No obvious alternative

According to Novatours chief Andree Uustal, traveller safety is a priority so the company observes advice by Ministry of Foreign Affairs. «The company keeps a close eye on all our destination and receives operational information from our partners and via other channels. We always notify our customers of what is happening at destinations,» assured Mr Uustal.

Even so, Mr Uustal said Egypt’s tourism sector has been among its most notable performers, throughout the years. «Tourism is their economic engine. People do not desire a downfall of the Egyptian economy at a time where the country has not yet managed to recover from the revolutionary events of two years ago.»

Mr Uustal admitted that in the given flight radius an alternative to Egypt, save the Canary Islands, is hard to find.

According to original plans, tour operator Novatours’ Egyptian season kicks off in second half of October. «It’s a couple of months to Egypt trips; and even though the situation is complex, events may take a peaceful turn. An option is for the Egyptian season to start later than planned,» noted Mr Uustal.

Ministry: don’t go

According to Mr Uustal, up to now Novatours has done well, being by now seasoned and experienced in how to handle complicated situations. «During the revolution, Novatours was the first to cancel flights to Egypt,» said he.

«Surely we will have to be vigilant; ere the season starts we will have to be fully assured the situation in the country of destination has calmed down and safe for tourists,» assured Mr Uustal.

Right now, tour operator Tez Tour’s website features no notice of cancellation of Egyptian trips. As an exception, however, Germalo Reisid has, due to the political situation in Egypt, given up trips to Egypt two years back, already.

Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises to avoid travelling to Egypt due to unrest. The ministry states at its website that, on the streets, security forces or local activists may check foreigners’ documents and perform searches on them. The ministry also advises caution at tourism resorts.

Starting August 14th, Egypt’s interim government and army have proclaimed a one month overall emergency. The unrest, rekindled in mid-August, has seen close to 800 people lose their lives.