Egypt ministry of tourism releases a surprise statement

July 8, 2013

Egypt Tourist minster

The Ministry of Tourism of the Arab Republic of Egypt is proud to proclaim a new era for Egyptian tourism following the revolution of June 30, 2013.

This statement was received by eTurboNews from Mr. Mohamed Gamal, general manager of the Egyptian Tourist office in Frankfurt, Germany.

Mr. Gamal went on to say:” Every tourist visiting Egypt presently is a most welcomed guest, whose security is safeguarded by the Egyptian people and by the authorities, and all must be assured of their safety and ability to complete their planned visits without disruption. Their families and friends at home should be equally reassured.

Tourists booked to visit Egypt this summer are equally reassured that there is no impediment to their visit. They will come to enjoy Egypt as millions of tourists have done for years and years, in safety and security, welcomed by their friendly and hospitable Egyptian hosts.

Tourism in Egypt is expected to boom as of next fall as the country settles down to its newfound democracy which will bring peace and prosperity to this great country and its united people. Welcome to Egypt!”

Even during the heat of violent protests in Cairo, tourist enjoyed diving and beautiful beaches away from the Capital.

Egyptians however  remain deeply divided about which direction their country should go as supporters and opponents of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. Hundred thousands went to the street on Sunday. The protests come two days after clashes left 36 people dead and more than 1,000 wounded.

Away from the streets, an attempt to install Mohamed ElBaradei as interim prime minister was quashed after an Islamist group objected to the Nobel laureate. State media and other sources had confirmed the appointment on Saturday, but later in the day the president’s spokesperson walked it back.

The latest statement by the Ministry of Tourism spokesperson in Germany demonstrates how important travel & tourism is for Egypt as an industry. Most likely tourists will continue to enjoy unspoiled beaches, but may have to stay back from Cairo and the Pyramides for some time.

FYI: The U.S. State Department and UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office have urged citizens to cancel travel plans to or within Egypt, amid ongoing protests and renewed violence in the country.

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Top Five Secrets to Savvy Travel

June 1, 2013

 

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*Fly on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday.

Traveling on off-peak days – and at  off-peak times – means lower fares, a less crowded cabin, and a greater  chance of snagging those elusive mileage-award seats. Taking two days off  for a long weekend?   Instead of a Thursday –Sunday or Friday – Monday trip, save money by flying on a Saturday and returning on a Tuesday.

*Hop Between Cities at Midday. 
When you’re traveling through Europe or Asia and need to get from
one city to another, consider scheduling transportation for the middle of
the day.   If you leave at dawn, you miss the sunrise – ideal for photography and observing locals – and reach your destination at midday, when temperatures are highest and the light is at its worst for photos, and is too early to check into your hotel.   You may also have to fight rush-hour commuters and miss a breakfast that is included in your rate.

*Visit Islands During Shoulder Season.

Peak-season rates on islands often   reflect nearby countries’ vacation schedules rather than the best time to  visit.   In low season, many businesses shut down.   Shoulder  season – when crowds are thinner but the weather is still good – is the  solution.

*Sign Up For E-Mail Notifications.
The best airfare and hotel sales are largely unannounced.   Airlines and hotel  companies target specific subsets of travelers – loyalty program members, holders of certain credit cards, people who’ve registered on their Web sites – and alert them by e-mail.  To keep your in-box from being bombarded, get a dedicated e-mail address for such alerts and check it when you’re ready to start planning your next trip.

*Get the Best Room for Your Dollar.

At luxury properties, rates vary substantially  according to occupancy.   A room could be $350 one week because there’s a big group, and $250 the next because nobody’s coming.  For top-end hotels that have on-site reservations desks, call and ask the manager when, during your travel window, the hotel will be emptiest and thus have the lowest rates.   Then ask something like, “If I come on that date, would there be a chance of an upgrade to ocean view?”

 


An American Tourist in Seoul

May 9, 2013

By Julie Alvin 

I have a history of incredibly bad timing in my travels. In 2010, I arrived in Quito, Ecuador mere hours before the police kidnapped the president and held him hostage in a coup attempt that ended in a dramatic standoff. We could hear the gunfire and see the tear gas from the apartment where we were huddled, waiting for the danger to pass. That same year, I pulled into Jakarta just as authorities were storming a local terrorist cell, and this was only after leaving the sleepy Javanese beach town of Pangandaran because an offshore earthquake had precipitated tsunami warnings for the whole coast. So, it was typical that I’d have a visit to Seoul scheduled just as the country teetered on the brink of war with the North.

I’d spent the last several weeks going back and forth on whether or not to make the trip. The belligerent threats from Kim Jong Un were all over the news in the west but Aja, my friend living in Seoul, swore that it was business as usual there, that locals seemed so unworried that they weren’t even discussing it. I motivated myself to make the trip with all sorts of internal “Carpe diem!” and “You can’t let fear govern your life!” talk. I realize that sayings typically used to convince someone to, say, take a ride on a rollercoaster seemed a bit flimsy when the thing to fear was nuclear war, but I clung to the mantras anyway. Plus, I was already all the way over here in Hong Kong! I spent $500 on a ticket! I just… thought Seoul sounded really cool! On Friday, April 19, I packed my bags and headed to the Hong Kong airport for my afternoon flight.

I arrived in Seoul to an airport so serene and uncrowded it was practically spa-like.  Perhaps it was the Western media that had me envisioning expats clamoring to exit the country and armed guards overseeing the melee, but this place was practically jarring in its lack of chaos, so much more pleasant it was than a typical arrival into JFK. I boarded a bus to Gangnam Station to meet Aja and once there, I ditched my bag and we went out into the famously stylish streets of her neighborhood to find dinner. The bright alleys and avenues of Gangnam were packed with people: impeccably dressed women waltzing arm-in-arm; packs of teenagers laughing and shoving; couples flirting in doorways; buttoned up businessmen staggering from too much soju. There wasn’t a hint of fear, not a whisper of it. It was Friday night and the only anxiety seemed to be in choosing the restaurant in which to dine or bar in which to drink.

The next day I was intent on finding the action, as surely there had to be some. Was there some plaza where there would be police presence? Were there protests going on? In a small demonstration a few days before, a couple hundred Seoul citizens (in a city of 11 million, mind you) had burned pictures of Kim Jong Un and his predecessors, the images defaced with clown noses, black Xs and angry — I’m guessing, here — slogans. The North had responded by saying it wouldn’t hold talks with its neighbor until the South apologized for anti-North actions, and that it could take retaliatory measures at any time.  By the weekend, there were no protests to be found but it seemed less because Seoul citizens had taken the North’s admonishment to heart and more because Southerners were just getting on with their lives and didn’t want to expend any more energy on the issue. When I asked Aja and her boyfriend Paul what their South Korean coworkers were saying about the situation, the answer was ‘they’re not having the conversation.’ It seemed that talking about it would be tantamount to dignifying a child’s tantrum with a thoughtful response.
Protest plans dashed (much to my mother’s relief), we spent the following days wandering Seoul’s lovely neighborhoods, touring modern art museums and historic streets, drinking beer and eating various forms of barbecue. And though I appeared to be among the only Western tourists in Seoul, Aja informed me that many of the people taking in the cherry blossoms and boutiques alongside us were visitors too, from the southern part of the country. People weren’t just continuing their lives unfazed — they were traveling, coming up to a city that sat a mere 35 miles from the DMZ, while the North Koreans rattled their sabers.

What was remarkable about the visit was how unremarkable it was. The lack of outward concern, the minimal departure from the routine of daily life, the refusal to stop traveling, reveling, shopping and dining — this was as revealing as any protest could have been about what it’s like living in South Korea when, mere miles away, there’s a regime of madmen that make a habit of threatening your safety. You get used to it. You stop giving the threats credence, taking the wind out of the madman’s sails. I can only imagine how disappointed Kim Jong Un would have been to see the people of Seoul carrying on with their lives. Seoul won me over by keeping its cool.

After four days, I left for Beijing where, of course, they were experiencing an outbreak of the bird flu.

Source Huff post-Travel

 


Tricks to finding the Cheapest Flights

November 24, 2011

Travel can be a lifesaver. The right vacation at the right time can revitalize your whole year, not to mention your body and mind. But in today’s economy with airlines adding new fees almost daily and ticket prices sharply on the rise, many have written off travel as too expensive. However, with a few savvy tricks and a little research, there are still lots of great deals to be had on airline tickets and more.

Early Bird Gets the Deal. Travel experts say that there are certain times of day when more deals are available. Airfares can change three times a day as airlines adjust their prices to fill up flights. Early morning is when the fares tend to be lowest, but it is a good idea to check every five hours to track prices as they change throughout the day. Also, it’s a good idea to check again at 5 PM when the airlines are trying hardest to fill empty seats.

What Wouldn’t a Business traveler do? Flying when business travelers don’t can save you a bundle. Most business travelers fly on Mondays and Fridays, so Tuesday and Wednesday are the best days. Airlines will usually lower their prices on these days to aggressively try and fill empty seats.

Avoid the Crowds. Fly to popular places at unpopular times. The slowest time of the year for travel is in the Fall between Labor Day and Thanksgiving. Again, to try and fill more vacant seats, the airlines will lower prices and offer better deals to get people to fly during this time of the year.

Right place, “wrong” time? By flying to popular destinations at unpopular times, you can secure the best prices from travel companies and airlines. Here’s where flexibility in your planning can pay off. Going to the airline websites and planning your vacation around the best ticket prices offered can result in a fun, cost-effective vacation and maybe widen your horizons to a place you might never have considered before.

Package Deals Many times the best deals on airfare can be found as part of a package rate. Most travel sites have package rates available and they are definitely worth a look. Often times, the entire package (hotel, airfare, rental car) is cheaper than just the plane ticket on another site. Even if you don’t need the rental car, with the money you saved on the flight, you can afford to not pick it up. These deals are especially good on last minute bookings.

With a little inside knowledge and some good timing, you can get yourself a steal on a ticket to the vacation you thought was out of reach.  Experienced travel agents can find you the best deal than searching on line. For more info see www.admastravel.com


What to Do When Vacations Go Bad

July 9, 2011

By: Susan Young

When Cruise West unexpectedly ended its World Cruise last fall and asked guests to leave the ship in Newfoundland, some insurers paid claims quickly, given the line’s failure to complete the voyage. But not all did, and because the line didn’t immediately state it was in default or filing for bankruptcy, most insurers waited before starting to pay claims for the line’s future cruises.

And when political turmoil broke out in North Africa this year, many insurers performed admirably to help clients whose vacations were interrupted get home. But when some clients with future bookings wanted to cancel and get their money back to book alternative vacations, they were told to stand by as the situation of civil unrest was under evaluation. Ofcourse, payment of any claim depends on the insurer and the specific policy details. If the colloquial phrase “God is in the details” applies anywhere, it’s to travel insurance. “With insurance, there is no policy that covers everything; there are gray areas within most products,” acknowledges Michelle Fee, CEO and co-founder, Cruise Planners. “Insurance is one of those things that most customers don’t want to buy, but as agents, we know how important it is to sell. It’s always that one customer who doesn’t buy it that ends up needing it and, unfortunately, I’m sure every agent has some horror story to tell.”  Read more:  http://www.travelagentcentral.com/travel-insurance/what-do-when-vacations-go-bad

 


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