MP criticises operators still sending customers to Egypt
February 1st, 2011 by elisa

Tory MP Patrick Mercer has hit out at tour operators that are still sending customers to resorts in the Red Sea as Egyptians prepare for a rally in Cairo.

The Foreign Office describes the area as calm, however, Mercer said it should change its advice to no travel at all to Egypt. He also condemned some operators for offering cheap deals to resorts like Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada.

Mr Mercer told ITV’s Daybreak: “If we pretend that things are going to improve in Egypt, we’re wrong.

“We must get our people out. Other nations have done that already. If we don’t then – excuse the pun – our nationals become a hostage to fortune, literally.

“Let’s implement the contingency plan which I know exists. Let’s get people out and let’s stop further people going there.

“Why holidays in Sharm el-Sheikh are still being advertised in different tourist agency windows I don’t know.”

In defence of their actions a Thomas Cook spokesman said: “We have already said that the feedback we are getting from people out in the Red Sea resorts is that they are enjoying their holiday and are happy there.”

Thomson also issued a statement which said: “As the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice has not changed for Sharm el-Sheikh, Hurghada, Taba and Marsa Alam and as it is safe to do so, our operations will continue as scheduled.

“Thomson and First Choice can confirm that there have been no related incidents in Sharm el-Sheikh or any of the other popular Red Sea tourist areas. Our colleagues in resort have expressed that it is very much a ‘business as usual’ operation.

“The atmosphere is quiet and calm, with Sharm el-Sheikh’s main resort of Naama Bay bustling as people continue to enjoy their holidays as normal.”

The US, Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, Greece, Portugal and Turkey are all concentrating their efforts on evacuating their nationals out of the country; however the UK government revealed that it was working on a “contingency plan” to keep the 20,000 Brits holidaying in Egypt safe.

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