Your web browser is not supported anymore. works with a wide range of browsers. However, if you'd like to use many of our latest and greatest features, please upgrade to a modern, fully supported browser.
Find the latest versions of our supported browsers below.
  • Egypt? We will go to Iran instead...

    Because of the riots and political cataclysms in Egypt, Russian travel business is confused. Since February Russians are being deprived of rest at Hurghada, Sharm-El-Sheikh resorts, and the Red sea shores. Damages, that are done to the travel industry, are equal to the losses that were made by the financial-economic crisis in 1998. Last year more than 12,5 million trips abroad were made by Russian tourists, 2,8 millions or 22,2% were made to the Egypt. Furthermore, Ismail Amer Hamid, attaché of the Egyptian embassy in Russia, stated that in 2010 there were more Russian than Great Britain, Germany and Italy citizens.

    Surely, Egyptians did a bad turn for themselves by those processes of democratic reforms. For hundreds of thousand fellow countryman, who are working as bartenders, vendors etc., tourism was a big deal. Mass refusal of European citizens to travel to Egypt can be fatal to the locals. Even now Egypt, as the government stated, with the beginning of the crisis and because of the problems with tourism, have lost almost one and a half billion dollars. Anyway, spring season for the tourist business in Egypt will be disastrous.

    Starting from the 6 of February, taking into consideration harsh recommendations of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Rustourism, not even one airplane company had ever made a charter touristic flight to Egypt. Unlike Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, German government have explained that the warning not to travel to Egypt was concerning only the unstable parts of Cairo, Alexandria and Suez, it is not forbidden to travel to the resorts. Nevertheless, in February, amount of German tourists have shriveled – only 304 flights were made to Egypt, in comparison to the last year's same season - 648 flights were made to Egypt. Yet, German tourist business representatives are hoping that in the near future the quantity of travelers, who are going to Egypt, will get higher once more, and in the second part of the year will get to normal again. The results of the tourist company manager poll, which was made by the Travel Industry Club union, have shown, that 58% tourist company managers have expressed their confidence in the opinion that political changes will not greatly influence the habits of German tourists who want to spend their holidays on the shores of the Hurghada and Sharm-El-Sheikh resorts. Furthermore, in this situation of confusion, it is possible to severely save money. For instance, German touristic concern TUI is offering “hot” voucher for 7 days to a 3 star hotel in Hurghada for 320 Euro per a tourist, and 450 for a 5 star hotel. The England is also using this opportunity - tour company Thomas Cook is offering a vacation for one week in Hurghada in a 3 star hotel for 290 GBP per a tourist, a 5 star hotel will cost 430 GBP. Other tour companies will lower their prices too, taking into consideration that Egyptian hotel managers miss badly their clients, they will give very profitable offers. While Russian tour companies are paralyzed and are waiting for news from MFA, tour companies in EU are earning money – Egypt resorts are getting filled with German, English, French and Italian travelers.

    Russian tour operators are not optimistic at all, after all, the tourism ban for Egypt is still valid in Russia. The worst part is, that before the riots have started, every major tour operator have already sold tour tickets to Egypt for 12-14 millions of dollars up to the end of March. And now, when tourists started to demand their money back, tour operators, naturally, do not have the money to refund, because they already have transferred them to the Egyptian partners as a prepayment. This situation doesn't save tour operators from the responsibility to return the money to the clients, although few have got their sum returned. Only little companies have fully payed off debts to the people who's travels were canceled. In order not to return money, tour operators often are offering to change the direction to another country. This action have made some results and have lowered the heat a little bit, but it have not solved the problem. Based on a different data, approximately 10 to 15 thousand Russian citizens are waiting for their money to be returned.

    There is a little chance that Egypt will remain among the tourism leaders for Russians. Interests are growing for other destinations. Turkey, without a shadow of a doubt, will remain a leader in this sphere. In May, Russians will begin to travel to Italy, Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria. Even if traveling to Egypt will be permitted, it will be left to the last spot. It is believed that in 2011 there will be new destinations in tourism in Russia, and some of them will be exotic ones, like Indian provinces for example – Karnataka and Tamil-Nadu. Russian tourist market got some extraordinary offers from Azerbaijan, Moldavia, Botswana, Butane and... Iraq. Well, every cloud has its silver lining.