The concerns of the tourist are completely trivial compared to the events being played out in Egypt at present. Yet, tourism employs about 12% of the Egyptian workforce, so the economic and social impact of the current crisis will be felt in the sector for a long time to come.
My own trivial concerns are more immediate: a planned visit to Dahab and Sharm el Sheikh in the coming weeks. Should we cancel? Is it right to even consider going? Who to believe when foreign travel advisories are conflicting?
It’s fairly indisputable that there’s been no violence or civil unrest at the South Sinai resorts. The curfew which was imposed nationally appears to have been ignored and then dropped for the main resorts.
However, excursions are bring cancelled and travel between towns restricted, especially at night. Some countries, including Germany, are advising against travel to all of Egypt, with Britain maintaining a more nuanced stance.
In very practical terms, some tourists ARE cancelling. Tour operators and airlines pulling out on their government’s advice means fewer people about: for us, you want a bit of life and activity in a holiday destination, and a ghost town holds limited appeal. Furthermore, as we’re staying independently, reimposed curfews would bring the potential of being housebound.
i don’t agree with the view that it is essentially wrong to go to Egypt at the moment regardless. If an area is unaffected, it’s unaffected, and you are talking people’s livelihoods here in tourist resorts.
Overall, given the current calm in South Sinai, I’d be reluctant to cancel. I’ve booked the trip, and have been looking forward to it for some time. But in the weeks between now and travel, much could change. One action in the Sharm or Dahab or Nuweiba, and all bets are off. Nobody wants to be kept in their accommodation as is the case in Hurghuda, and as I say, we’re independent travellers.
Any views on this general topic would be v welcome, as would feedback from people who are in the area, planning on visiting, or have been there at times of Egyptian unrest in the past.
- Red Sea holidaymakers confined to hotel (telegraph.co.uk)
- British tourists advised to avoid most parts of Egypt (itv.com)