The head of one of Australia’s largest travel companies has pleaded with Aussies to return to Egypt, saying it is no more risky than the UK.
Cox & Kings CEO Steve Reynolds has just returned from a two-week holiday through Egypt with his children and said there was nothing to fear more than one year on from the Egyptian uprising.
“Egypt is open for business and no one should feel unsafe travelling there,” Mr Reynolds said.
“As somebody who travels regularly and extensively, I think there are no greater risks travelling to Egypt than there are travelling to the UK. People don’t give a second thought about visiting London even though it recently experienced some fairly significant civil unrest.
“It’s time for Australians to return to Egypt with confidence and help rebuild one of the world’s greatest destinations.”
Mr Reynolds travelled through Cairo, Luxor, Aswan and Sharm el–Sheikh with his partner and two children, aged 10 and eight. He also met with local tourism operators and Egyptian Tourist Authority chairman Amr El Ezabi.
“Tourism operators indicated that the lack of confidence from tourists is hurting them financially but they all agreed what happened was a healthy chapter in their history and an opportunity for their country to move forward,” Mr Reynolds said.
“The Egyptian Tourism Authority is prepared to work with organisations such as Cox & Kings and sister brand Tempo Holidays to promote awareness of the fact that all the sites are open and that it’s safe for travel.
Mr Reynolds said he was never worried about his family’s safety despite the federal government’s warnings to ‘reconsider your need for travel’ to Egypt overall and to ‘exercise a high degree of caution’ for the Red Sea resorts, Luxor and Aswan.
“While the government always has to take the most cautionary approach, my honest view is there’s no way I’d take my children to somewhere that was unsafe,” he said.
Figures released last week showed Egypt tourism plunged by 30 per cent in the first three months of this year compared to the same period last year.
Mr Reynolds said Cox & Kings and Tempo Holidays had experienced an 80 per cent drop in visitor numbers over the past 12 months.
“We are seeing a positive forward booking trend but overall numbers remain subdued,” he said.
“Egypt remains a priority for Cox & Kings. We’ve committed to host a series of national road-shows to promote Egypt and are planning to take a number of Australian travel agents there to see the destination and our product first-hand.”
Cox & Kings is the world’s longest established travel company tracing its origins back to London in 1758. Cox & Kings launched in Australia in November 2008 and is the corporate entity responsible for specialist travel brands of Cox & Kings – Small Group Journeys, Tempo Holidays, Bentours and online travel supermarket ezeego1.
Source = Cox & Kings