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What next for Egyptian tourism?

Friday, November 06, 2015 - 01:31

British tourists fly home from the Egyptian resort of Sharm al-Sheik, but many airliners have suspended flights after the downing of a Russian plane. Kirsty Basset assesses the fallout for air and travel operators - and for an already-battered local tourism industry.

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Russia is the latest country to cancel flights to Egypt, following the unexplained crash of Airbus A321 over the Sinai, which killed 224 people. Britain and Ireland have already suspended flights to and from the Egyptian resort of Sharm al-Sheikh. Some tourists are making the most of the situation. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH TOURIST PAUL MODLEY SAYING: "We still feel very safe here. The sun is shining and we are having a great time." But others are worried. (SOUNDBITE) (English) RUSSIAN TOURIST, LYDIA, SAYING: "Frankly I am really concerned about the security as such, because I think they are a bit laid back (in terms of airport security)." Shares in Thomas Cook and holiday company TUI Group took a hit after Britain suspended flights. But Egyptian tourism could be the biggest loser. It's been on the wane since the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak. And terror attacks have been on the rise since the fall of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Mursi in 2013. The Independent's Travel Editor Simon Calder says it will be catastrophic for Egyptian tourism, if it's found a bomb was responsible for the plane crash. (SOUNDBITE)(English) THE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER'S TRAVEL EDITOR, SIMON CALDER SAYING: "Immediately the Russian market, which is about 3 million people a year I think would be very very hard hit. And of course an awful lot of holidaymakers from Britain, from Germany from Italy are going to be very worried about the message that this sends out." And that could put pressure on an already fragile economy. Investigations into the cause of the crash are continuing.

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What next for Egyptian tourism?

Friday, November 06, 2015 - 01:31