Egypt tourists told: 'Avoid demos'

27 January 2014 08:43

The Foreign Office wants tourists' stay in Egypt to remain peaceful by avoiding all demonstrations and large gatherings

The Foreign Office wants tourists' stay in Egypt to remain peaceful by avoiding all demonstrations and large gatherings

British tourists visiting Egypt have been advised to "avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings" over the next few days.

The Foreign Office's (FO) call comes as Saturday, January 25 brings the third anniversary of the 2011 revolution which resulted in the toppling of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

The department said on its website: "A number of groups have called for demonstrations to mark the anniversary."

The FO added that protests and disruption to travel around Egypt are expected in the days before and after January 25.

It advised visitors to exercise special caution in the neighbourhood of government buildings. They should also avoid all protest and large gatherings, it added.

Tourists have been told to consider their travel plans carefully and look for information about disruptions prior to going. But the general travel advice to Egypt is otherwise unaltered.

So the message is better safe than sorry - and the same applies to holidaymakers considering travel insurance. This gives them peace of mind before travelling to even safe areas within countries experiencing political unrest.

The Egyptian government has assured its people that security forces are well equipped to handle any skirmishes on or around Saturday, reported Middle Eastern news website Al Bawaba.

The Foreign Office advice coincides with a reported big fall in last year's Egyptian tourist revenues.

But the outlook is rosier for Egyptian tourism this year, as visitors can take advantage of relatively uncrowded resorts, enticing offers and year-round fine weather.

Cairo-based Britons stressed that the situation in Egypt is safe if tourists take normal precautions.

Margot Arthur, who is due to begin work as an English teacher at the British Council in Egypt, told The Telegraph "I'd say it is perfectly safe - the FO wouldn't say so otherwise. It is particularly safe in Luxor and the Red Sea Resorts such as Sharm el Sheikh and Dahab."

Egyptian tourist revenues dipped 41% from the previous year to 5.9 billion dollars (£3.6 billion) in 2013.

Nile trip bookings plunged in 2013, while under a fifth of Luxor hotel rooms were occupied during the peak Easter season.

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