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Egypt specialists are diversifying their programmes to feature a broader range of destinations.
Tour operators Red Sea Holidays and Mosaic Holidays insisted their newly expanded portfolios for 2016 were planned as part of longer term growth strategies rather than in reaction to recent terrorist atrocities.
The moves come as the trade reels from two terrorist attacks in the space of a week, with three tourists stabbed at the Bella Vista Hurghada Hotel in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada last week and a suicide bomb in Istanbul on Tuesday.
No UK flights have operated into Sharm el-Sheikh since the downing of a Russian Metrojet aircraft after its departure from the resort in an apparent terrorist attack at the end of October last year.
Red Sea Holidays is now offering Greece and Turkey, with a dedicated programme and a plan to take 80 to 100 agents to Turkey by June on fam trips.
Mosaic, which specialises in “classical” Egypt rather than Sharm, is offering Italy, Greece and Cyprus for the first time, using contacts within its new parent company Sakkara Group.
Red Sea and Mosaic said there has been pent-up demand for Egypt, with holidaymakers either choosing alternative resorts in Egypt or other winter-sun destinations such as the Canary Islands.
Red Sea Holidays deputy managing director Jason Hilton said: “We are committed to the destination and we have just got to push on and deal with it. We may find some holidaymakers now choose Makadi Bay instead of Hurghada, but this issue is not unique to Egypt. With all these things there is an initial impact and then it [sales] starts to build again.”
Mosaic general manager Steve Goodenough described the flight ban and the latest atrocities as “set backs”, adding: “Obviously there is a hard core of people who are resilient and will continue to travel and we would hope a single incident would not affect the longer term, but we will keep an eye on it in the coming weeks. Egypt has a fantastic infrastructure of hotels and good quality product and it’s value for money.”
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