Egypt unrest sparks fall in bookings and price cuts

Egypt unrest sparks fall in bookings and price cuts

Bookings to Egypt fell sharply in July and August after the army deposed President Morsi and massacred hundreds of his supporters.

Industry analyst GfK reported bookings to Egypt for summer 2013 down 24% year on year over the eight weeks to August 25, after the country had been riding high at the end of June with 7% more bookings than in 2012.

The fall in bookings came along with a drop of £49 in average selling prices on a year ago. Prices to June had been up by £14.

The current summer season has barely suffered compared with sales for the coming winter, which plunged 57% year on year over the eight weeks despite an average price cut. Sales for winter 2013-14 to the end of June had been 4% up. The sudden decline left Egypt’s season-to-date winter bookings down 20% year on year.

Bookings for summer 2014 have also been severely hit, down 43% on 2012 since the end of June – although operators appear to have maintained prices, with the average holiday selling for £55 more than a year ago.

Egypt has been in turmoil since late June when huge protests by opponents of Morsi triggered his overthrow by the army on July 3. The army then suppressed demonstrations, killing more than 500 one day in August.

Laura Featonby, a homeworker with Independent Travel Experts, said she thought prices to Egypt and demand were holding.

“My sales haven’t really been impacted,” she said. “I think people are just a bit more cautious, but I’m still making bookings for Egypt.”

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office was this week continuing to advise against travel to most of Egypt other than Red Sea resorts.

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