Holiday Choices for 2011

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Back last autumn you would probably expect that Egypt and maybe Tunisia would have been hot spots for tourist bookings this year. After the removal of the Tunisian president in January, it was to be expected that there would be a downturn in bookings at least until things had stabilised. The same could be said about Egypt. But as the disruption continues in North Africa and the Middle East, will, tourists be deterred from going to the whole area?
The Foreign Office has modified its advisory notices for travel to both Tunisia and Egypt. Luxor is viewed as being calm which probably means, in foreign office speak, that is safe to visit as are the Red Sea resorts which were largely unaffected. Even the curfew isn’t being enforced there. Now there is a warning notice for travellers to Bahrain. But nothing about Morocco despite the demonstrations over the weekend in some cities.
Bookings as monitored by GfK Ascent up until the first week in February have shown much the same sort of pattern since the beginning of the year. Spain, Greece and Cyprus have been the big destinations almost every week with the Balearic Islands of Majorca, Menorca and Ibiza leading the way closely followed by the Canaries. It looks as though we are opting for safety with all the main destinations being selected because they are long-standing and safe.
There is some evidence to suggest that Turkey is being lumped together with the North African and Middle East countries which is unfortunate. It doesn’t seem that Cyprus is affected; booking are up but some people think in their minds that Turkey is the Middle East or at least is identified with it. There are good deals to Turkey; even better ones to Egypt and Tunisia but will British travellers be swayed by them? Whereas at the beginning of the year, holiday prices were up, now they are flat. Spain, which suffered declines over the last couple of years due to the cheaper prices from Turkey and Egypt, has hit back with better rates as has Greece. It could be that some of the fall off in interest is due to better priced offers from those countries.
But for those of us that book late or even at the last minute, Tunisia, Turkey and Egypt are probably going to have some great deals as summer nears.

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