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Travel industry news

21 May 2019

BY James Chapple


Giza attack 'no doubt a setback for Egypt' says Aito boss

The boss of Aito has said the attack on a tourist bus near Giza will undoubtedly be a “setback” for Egyptian tourism.

pyramids giza.jpg

Giza attack ’no doubt a setback for Egypt’ says Aito boss

Chairman Derek Moore though said he was confident the authorities were doing “everything they can” to minimise any repeat incidents.

More than a dozen people – mainly South Africa tourists – are understood to have been injured in a blast near the Giza Pyramids on Sunday (19 May).


The attack comes a month after a series of suicide bombings targeting churches and hotels across Sri Lanka killed more than 250 people.

The Foreign Office has warned against all but essential travel to Sri Lanka, but is yet to alter its advice in respect of Egypt.

A dozen Aito members currently organise and promote travel to Egypt, offering a wide range of trips and holidays.

Moore said he was encouraged by the resilience of destinations where terrorism and political instability on a national level is more common.

“Terrorism is something we’ve all lived with for a long time now, unfortunately – at home and when travelling abroad,” said Moore.

“Discussing this with fellow council member of Aito Jono Vernon-Powell [of Nomadic Thoughts], we agreed that, aside from the tragedy heaped upon innocent tourists and local stakeholders, the resilience of destinations is very encouraging.

“In the last year, we have seen terrorist attacks in tourist destinations such as Indonesia, Belgium, Jordan, Holland, Egypt, Australia, Morocco, Kenya, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. Unless there is a subsequent FCO warning... in Aito’s experience, as well as across the wider travel industry, these destinations have bounced back remarkably quickly.

“The truth is, we think, the public has become more aware of the statistically very low chances of being involved in such an incident. Personally, I am confident the Egyptian authorities are doing everything they can to minimise the chance of any repeat incidents; they understand, of course, the vital need to give confidence both to visitors and to the governments of those countries from which tourists travel to visit Egypt.”

However, Moore added he accepted the attack would be a setback for the country. “We are so very sorry to hear the latest news from Egypt – both for the millions of Egyptians whose livelihoods depend so heavily on tourism and also, of course, for the South African visitors caught up in this attack.

“There is no doubt that it’s a setback for Egypt, just as things seemed to be settling down somewhat – but it’s important to remember that this attack is in an area that represents but a small section of the enormous range of cultural treasures and sites of what is a large country.”

The FCO issued a factual update regarding the attack shortly after 5pm on Monday (20 May) confirming “at least 16 people were injured after an IED attack on a tourist bus near the Giza pyramids”.

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