Red Sea unrest boosts Costa del Sol bookings

UNREST in Egypt and Tunisia has led to a boost in holiday bookings to the Costa del Sol. There is a direct relationship between the political upheavals in the Arab countries and a rise of between 30 and 40 per cent for online bookings on the Costa del Sol for this Spring and Summer, according to Sonia Tello, director of Tui Hotelbeds.

Most of the bookings are coming from the British market, although experts predict a boom in bookings from elsewhere in Europe.

Over the past week there have been violent demonstrations in Cairo and other locations across Egypt and particularly in central Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor and Suez.

“We advise against all but essential travel to Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor and Suez,” the British Foreign office warned on Tuesday. “The situation is unpredictable and may change quickly,” it said.

An estimated that 11.9 million international tourists visited Egypt in 2009, bringing with them €7.7 billion in revenue, according to the UN World Tourism Organization.

More than 1.3 million British Nationals visited Egypt in 2009, Egyptian Ministry of Tourism data shows.

The vicepresident of Spanish Travel Agents Association (AEDAV) President is more conservative forecasting increases in bookings of between 2 and 3 per cent over the next few weeks.

Many tour operators have reacted quickly and diverted tourists heading to Tunisia and Egypt to the Costa del Sol already.

The Costa Blanca and Canary Islands are also benefited from the need to relocate tourists and find new destinations.

Meanwhile, tourists in Spain who planned to visit Egypt and Tunisia are now making other plans, since the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs recommended postponing all but strictly necessary trips to the countries, and are also avoiding other North African destinations such as Morocco, Jordan or Syria.

Instead, they are looking to Turkey and Croatia for their holidays.

Some tour operators in Spain have cancelled all trips to Egypt for the rest of February and part of March, but hope that by Easter the situation will be back to normal.



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