February 20, 2011

Uplifting Egypt; New Hope Ahead

The Great Pyramid of Giza. And the Sphinx too.

Through the last several weeks of uncertain change in Egypt we have all been watching carefully and with great interest. Not just because Egypt is one of our most popular destinations for families, but also because we are close to many Egyptians who take care of these families when they visit. Office personnel, transfer guides, drivers, Egyptologist guides. Camel drivers. Mt Sinai guides. All of these people work tirelessly and graciously to take care of our visiting families, and now they too just sit and wait and see what comes next. It makes the politics of change very personal to Thomson Family Adventures.

Thankfully we have been in contact with all of our colleagues in Egypt, and are grateful to know everyone we work with is safe and unharmed. But the worry of loss of their livelihood, the sadness that tourists are afraid to visit their country, rings in the sound of their voices.

We are heartened and excited by good news coming from the Egyptian Tourism Authority, and hope our friends in Egypt are too. Statements like:

“Tourism interest is already rebounding, leading to guarded optimism and predictions of more bookings during the peak season of April and May from many tour operators and Nile cruise companies. Some US tour operators have started booking flights for as soon as February 24th”

In addition, Cairo’s international airport received 189 flights from a variety of countries in just one day last week; a sure sign that things are returning to normal. All of the tourist sights have reopened, and many countries have already lifted their advisories against traveling to Egypt.

We want to let you know Egypt is a wonderful adventure for families and we know the Egyptians see hope in this revolution. They hope it will bring new opportunities and strength, not just to their country but to their tourism too. And so we watch and listen, and look forward to the day we’ll return to embrace our friends once again.