Tour operators claim tourism to Egypt is more likely to be affected by cost rises than the weekend’s most recent bomb attack.
Egypt specialist tour operators are warning the cost of a holiday could rise by 10% as they are running out of dollars hedged at last year’s rates of up to $2 a pound. They must now do their pricing with a pound worth just $1.45.
Allbury Travel Group Egypt yield and product manager Costas Stylianides said this could push prices up by 10% which would have a bigger effect on the market than the bomb which ripped through the 1,500-year-old Khan al-Khalili market in Cairo.
It wounded 25 people who were mostly tourists and killed a French teenager. No British were injured in the attack
Stylianides said: “Most of the Egyptians have realised this is a huge potential problem and therefore have reduced or frozen rates for 2009 and 2010.”
Discover Egypt commercial director Phil Breckner agreed: “Later on in the year prices will go up so we’ll see what direction the prices take.”
Breckner added he currently has around 300 customers in Egypt and of the 50 due to take a tour of Cairo only four cancelled because of safety fears while there has not been a noticeable drop in enquiries for the destination.
Peltours sales and marketing director Darren Panto said his 400 customers currently in the country have been unaffected by the blast although bookings have been down due to the economic situation.
He said: “We’re having a respectable amount of bookings, we’re not quite where we’d like to be (in booking figures) but it is improving.”
While he accepts the pound’s weakening against the dollar may cause prices to rise, he added the falling fuel prices have mitigated the problem to some extent.
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