Published March 31, 2011
“There is no better time to visit Egypt or Tunisia” says Peter Lilley, director of Middle East and North Africa Tavel Association (MENATA). “There are thousands of bargain holidays available. Package prices to Egypt have been slashed by up to 40% while summer holidays to Tunisia are available for less than Â£300 for seven nights, half-board at the end of June. You would struggle to find a weekend break in the UK for that price.”
MENATA’s advice to potential holidaymakers to Egypt and Tunisia is straightforward, Peter Lilley says. “We believe the countries are essentially safe and that there is no real reason not to visit. Both countries desperately need tourists to return and they can be assured of a warm welcome. But there are some risks involved and we feel it is better to be upfront about those – to assist potential holidaymakers to make an informed decision.Both Egypt and Tunisia are currently ruled by interim presidents and temporary governments which have never been seen as the hallmarks of stolidness and stability. Both countries also remain quite volatile and no-one can completely rule out the possibility of further street protests.”
Peter Lilley says holidaymakers “can either take advantage of the excellent value for money currently offered by Egypt and Tunisia while understanding there’s just a possibility their travel plans may be disrupted or they can opt for what they perceive is a safer resort, even if that means paying more. There’s no right or wrong answer. Holidaymakers need to make the decision which suits them.”
Peter Lilley believes one of the reasons why tourism has been quite slow to return to Egypt and Tunisia is the result of mixed messages from the travel industry, with national tourist offices claiming resorts are safe at the same time as tour operators are busy slashing their programmes to the region.