goway travel Moira Smith, general manager, Africa and the Middle East for Goway Travel, is also bullish on Egypt. “We’re booking again. It’s certainly a lot slower than before the events of late-January, but we are seeing some inquires coming back. I think the best thing—and something that we actually use as a sales tool with people who do phone in—are the wonderful reports from customers who have returned and who are more than happy for us to use their comments as testimonials.” She adds that those travelers were very happy with the fact they were seeing Egypt with no crowds and that the Egyptians themselves are so proud of their peaceful revolution, “they are just so excited to showcase their country.”
Smith says even Tahrir Square has now become a tourist stop and as a result, “I think it’s all really very exciting. Egypt does traditionally rebound very quickly and I’m pretty sure by November or certainly by peak season, we’ll see the bookings back to what we’ve been seeing before.”
One of Goway Travel’s best-selling Egypt programs is its 9-day Classic Egypt, designed to give the traveler with limited time an in-depth introduction to the civilization of Ancient Egypt by focusing on the Nile and its importance to the people. The program includes a 4-night hotel stay in Cairo and a 4-night Nile cruise. Clients can extend their stay by taking advantage of post cruise extensions. Call for pricing.
insight vacations Insight Vacations announced last month its intention to resume promoting tours in Egypt deciding that it was the perfect time to start promoting its Egyptian product once again because, according to Marc Kazlauskas, president, “We have been monitoring the situation in Egypt very closely and are completely confident our tours will operate effectively and safely. Our staff in Cairo, Aswan, Luxor, as well as our hoteliers in St. Catherine, Alexandria and Sinai, are all ready and eager to be receiving Insight guests once more.”
Kazlauskas points out a couple of very positive reasons for heading to Egypt now, rather than later not the least of which is that by travelling sooner rather than later, you can see some of the greatest monuments in the world without the crowds. More importantly, though, he adds, “Insight has negotiated major savings on tours in Egypt through Aug. 31. By offering these discounts we really want to pique interest again in Egypt and show people how confident we really are that the time to book Egypt is now.”
Discounts will be available for those booking Egypt tours departing through Aug. 31. Clients who are already booked on Egyptian departures for this time period will have the reductions automatically applied to their current bookings.
Here are a few examples of the land-only discounts currently being offered: a $145 savings pp on the 10-day Wonders of Egypt priced from $2,154 pp, twin share; a $180 pp savings on the 13-day Splendors of Egypt priced from $2,519 pp, twin share; a $180 savings pp on the 12-day Jewels of the Nile, Lake Nasser and Abu Simbel priced from $2,770 pp, twin share (land only); and a $280 pp savings on the 18-day Grand Tour of Egypt priced from $3,495 pp, twin share (land only).
uniworld boutique river cruise collection River cruise giant Uniworld is also gearing up its marketing efforts to try and generate interest for its fourth quarter sailings. “We’ve canceled all the way through August and we’re going to start again in September. And to be perfectly candid—I wish I could tell you otherwise—but bookings are rather slow for the fourth quarter,” says Guy Young, president. “But in all fairness, we have not done any marketing for Egypt in the last couple of months. So we do plan on beginning marketing on Egypt and hopefully bookings will pick up again.”
Still, based on the sales performance just prior to the revolution, Young is confident about a rebound. “The truth is that our Egypt program was selling incredibly well. We were sold out for February, March, April; we had very good load factors for May and even for the fourth quarter, we had started to get quite a few bookings,” he adds, pointing out they don’t cruise in June, July and August because of the heat. “But things have somewhat dried up. So my view is that once confidence has been restored a bit in Egypt and we begin marketing again, I have no doubt that it’s going to be very successful for us. But until we get the confidence about traveling to Egypt, it’s going top be a bit of a struggle. But we’ll get there.”