Tourism to Egypt and Tunisia hit hard by protests

Hotel News - 17/02/2011

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The North African nations of Egypt and Tunisia saw tourism hit hard by the political instability and violence that caused many nations to issue travel warnings. Though the travel industries in both countries are slowly recovering, they both suffered significant damage in the wave of democracy protests sweeping the Middle East.

Governments around the world have started to ease travel warnings to the region, following weeks of serious disruption caused by protests. In Egypt, the national carrier says its business is getting back to normal.

Air Transport World quotes a spokesperson at Egyptair as saying its load factors have begun to recover. With passenger numbers on an upswing, the carrier’s planes have been about 60-65 per cent filled this week, a major improvement on the previous week.

Cairo International Airport, which was virtually cut off from the world as staff abandoned their posts to join the popular revolt, has returned to normal operations. At the peak of the disruption, thousands of foreigners were forced to camp out in the airport as flights halted, basic supplies dwindled and violence raged outside.

Almost all flights through Cairo have returned to normal. Only flights to a few airports in Japan remain suspended until next month.

The UK, Denmark, Sweden and Norway have all relaxed their travel advice on Egypt this week. The massive street demonstrations seen across the country have ended after former president Mubarek was finally kicked out of office.

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