Travel advisory issued for Egypt amid protests

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 January, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 January, 2011, 12:00am

The government issued an amber travel alert for Egypt, calling on visitors to be on their guard amid violent protests across the country.

However, Travel Industry Council executive director Joseph Tung Yao-chung said no holiday itineraries had been affected because Egypt's most popular tourist spots were far from the towns and cities where the protests were taking place.

More than 300 people from Hong Kong were in Egypt on group tours.

'Some roads have been blocked there. But leading tourist spots like Luxor, Aswan and Hurghada are far away from all the protests,' Tung said. 'Group tours have been reminded not to go near the protests.'

Another 70 groups, comprising more than 2,000 people, are scheduled to leave for Egypt during the Lunar New Year holidays, and some had inquired about cancelling their trips, Tung said. But since the Egyptian authorities considered tourism to be unaffected, airlines and hotels would not give refunds. Therefore, those booked on a group tour who opt out may not receive a full refund, 'or anything at all', Tung said.

The Security Bureau's amber alert, which urges travellers to monitor the situation and exercise caution, puts Egypt on the same standing as India, Indonesia, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia and Thailand.

The alert for the Philippines remains black, denoting a severe threat. All travel to the country has been discouraged since the Manila bus tragedy on August 23.