Best Holiday Bargains?

By | Category: Travel destinations, Travel rumblings

At present, probably the best holiday bargains are to be found in either Tunisia or Egypt. Other Middle Eastern and North African countries like Yemen, Syria, Algeria don’t attract many British visitors. Jordan has been at pains to point out that they are open for business as has Oman which had a bumper tourism year in 2010. Morocco has been visited by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall which suggests all is quiet and safe. But are you encouraged to holiday there? Do the deals tempt you? After all the Red Sea resorts in Egypt were hardly affected during the January/February demonstrations that led to the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak.
MENATA, the Middle East and North African Travel association, issued a press release a fortnight ago saying that Egypt and Tunisia were “essentially safe” and pointing out that you could get a seven nights holiday on half board in Tunisia for less than £300. But the hospitalisation of Mr Mubarak on Tuesday evening was a reminder that there have been demonstrations in Sharm el-Sheikh ever since he fled there. Outside his hospital there were calls for him to be brought to court and now he, and his sons, are detained for 15 days. But in the resorts, quiet prevails. Al Masry al Youm reported yesterday that there are a few demonstrators outside the hospital calling for Mubarak to leave the city in case his presence may disrupt tourism. All of which means greater efforts to attract us to visit.
Anthony, from CD-Traveller, was in Djerba – the holiday destination island just off the coast of Tunisia – 10 days ago and he reported that that it seemed untouched by the revolution. Business was normal there for tourism and the only change he saw was that people were more open about the future of Tunisia than they had been previously. (The full story of his trip will be available shortly.) But Tunisia was hit by a huge reduction (85%) in bookings from Germany in February and Egypt had a 50% reduction. One source claimed that 300,000 Russians who might have considered Egypt had booked elsewhere. All of this leaves lots of empty resorts, hotel rooms and airline seats. Whilst airlines can switch flights, the accommodation stays. So that’s why some of the best deals around are in Tunisia and Egypt.

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