Tour Company Begins Sending Tourists Back to Egypt
The revolution in Egypt has just happened, but already a well-established tour packager for Egyptian vacations, Florida-based Sunny Land Tours, is sending customers back to the country on regular package itineraries.
The thought of visiting the scene of recent headlines wont appeal to everyone, though, so the company has halved the regular price of its trips to induce business. What cost $2,598 two months ago is now being sold for $1,299 including hotels, meals, and airfare from the United States. That's the equivalent of spending just $162 a night, before taxes, and it's the lowest price travelers are likely to see to Egypt for years to come.
Sunny Land Travel's tour, called the Grand Nile Cruise, spends only one out of eight touring days in Cairo itself. Most of the trip is occupied by a seven-night cruise up the Nile to Luxor, which has been a popular tourist activity in Egypt for well over a century. Other companies have told AOL Travel News that they don't intend to return to the north African country until the fall.
Are they crazy? Probably not. The mob-fueled mayhem has subsided, people have gone back to their daily lives, ancient sites have been reopened, and full control of the government has been handed to the military. Considering this was the same military that served as ousted President Mubarek's foot-soldiers, that means the same people who were policing the country before are policing it now.
And the military, which knows perfectly well that tourism is one of the country's most important industries, has a long record of ferociously protecting the security of foreign visitors. In 1997, when gunmen opened fire on coach tourists at Luxor's Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, killing 58 people, the Egyptian government sprang into action, crushing the perpetrators to protect the tourism industry against further damage. Tourists were safely back at the site within days.
The U.S. government continues to warn against travel to Egypt, mostly on the basis of the fact its government is currently undergoing restructuring and not because of any specific incidents involving American tourists. Plenty of travelers, though, take government warnings with a grain of salt and evaluate destinations on their own.
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