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US, Britain, Holland issued travel warnings or alerts

Tourists in Cairo warned not to leave hotels

Jan 28, 2011

Tourists are warned to stay inside their hotels and monitor the situation on the news and were warned specifically not to attend any political gatherings or demonstrations for fear of violence.

The police have continued to attempt to control anti-government crowds thousands-strong using rubber bullets and tear gas.

There remains an ongoing high threat of terrorism across the country, the FO guidance states.

It read: "The police are using tear gas to disperse demonstrators.
"You should avoid political gatherings and demonstrations and respect any advice or instruction from the local security authorities.

"We advise people in Cairo or other large cities to follow the news on TV and radio and not to go out in central Cairo or other areas where demonstrations are taking place."

Tour operators said there were few British tourists in the capital with many more in the resorts, but pointed out that it was over 200 miles from Sharm el-Sheikh to Cairo, or eight hours by car.

A spokeswoman for Thomson and First Choice holidays said: "We currently only have 27 customers staying in Cairo and our experienced resort team has been in contact with each of them to discuss the situation. None have requested to return early."

A spokesman for Thomas Cook said the firm had cancelled yesterday's planned trips to Cairo for tourists elsewhere in the country.
However, he said the resorts away from the capital remained "fully operational" and said tourists were "continuing to enjoy" themselves.
He said: "Our experienced teams on the ground assure us that no tourist areas at the Red Sea have been affected in any way by the recent demonstrations."
Tourism in Egypt is one of the pillars of the country's economy. In 2009, it generated around £7.3billion and employs about 3million people.
However, the industry has been shaken in recent months.
Four shark attacks in the popular Sinai peninsula resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in a week at the end of last year led to 65% of bookings in the town being cancelled.

The country has also suffered repeated terrorist incidents, which have regularly been aimed at tourists.
In the last six years there have been bombings in Cairo, in Sharm el-Sheikh, at Ras al-Shitan on the Sinai peninsula and in Dahab, a resort popular for world-class windsurfing.
Further back, 58 tourists were among 62 people killed in 1997 when terrorists with automatic rifles and machetes attacked visitors to the Temple of Hatshepsut near Luxor.
So many internet users have now researched the safety of travelling to the country that is has become a frequent search term on Google.
A spokesman for the Association of British Travel Agents said: "There may well be a small number of independent or business travellers in Cairo, Alexandria or Suez. These travellers should observe local curfews, follow Foreign office advice and check with their airline.
"It is too early to say whether the demonstrations have had an impact on future bookings but would stress once more that the main tourist resorts in Egypt are hundreds of miles away from cities where demonstrations have been taking place.‚ÄĚ

How safe is it to travel in Egypt?

The U.S. State Department stopped short of issuing a formal travel warning Friday, and instead issued a lower-level "travel alert" urging U.S. citizens to defer nonessential travel in the country, as police and protesters clashed in Cairo and across Egypt.

Officials said they planned to post the information on

The U.S.State Department took the action after several other foreign governments issued similar advisories.

The Dutch government advised against travelling to areas in Egypt including the capital Cairo, Alexandria and Suez because of large demonstrations and violence.

Similar warnings are issued by the U.K., Sweden and other countries.

Canadian government officials, in an advisory updated Friday, stopped short of advising against travel, but recommended travelers exercise a "high degree of caution." The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs recommended a "high degree of caution" for the country overall and advised travelers to reconsider their need to travel in Sinai area.

Denmark warned its citizens against all unnecessary travel, with the exception of tourist resorts, while Sweden's foreign ministry recommended its citizens avoid Cairo.

While not issuing a travel warning _ a more serious action that usually triggers automatic cancellations by cruise companies and tour operators and affects certain types of travel-insurance coverage _ U.S. officials advised those in Egypt to remain in their hotels or residences until the situation stabilizes.

Tourists in Cairo warned not to leave hotels

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