Egypt’s political turmoil fails to discourage Hong Kong tour groups

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 July, 2013, 9:36pm
UPDATED : Friday, 05 July, 2013, 10:14am

Hong Kong tour groups are continuing to visit Egypt despite the tense situation in the country.

About 20 people, all Muslims, have joined a tour to Jordon and Egypt visiting holy sites, which is scheduled to depart on Sunday. The tour is organised by Holyland Travel, whose representative refused to accept a Post interview about safety issues.

A Wing On Travel tour with 20 members is still in the embattled country. They are now staying in Hurghada, a city on the Red Sea coast not affected by protests and clashes. The group will return to Hong Kong on Sunday as scheduled.

Another 10-day tour organised by EGL Tours returned to Hong Kong on Thursday without being affected by the military coup.

EGL has another tour departing for Egypt on Wednesday and the tour company said there were no plans to cancel the tour or rearrange itineraries.

The Travel Industry Council’s executive director Joseph Tung Yao-chung said the watchdog would continue to monitor the situation and make recommendations before more tour members departed on Wednesday.

“The organiser of the tour due to set off on Sunday insists on going,” Tung said on Thursday.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong government is maintaining a red outbound travel alert for Egypt, which has been under effect since March 2011.

“In view of continuing demonstrations and developments, residents intending to visit the country should adjust their travel plans and avoid non-essential travel. Those already there should monitor the situation, attend to personal safety and avoid protests and large gatherings of people. Residents should pay particular attention to the security situation in the Sinai Peninsula,” states the alert.

In a situation update, tourists are warned that in early July, the demonstrations and violent clashes that began in late June are continuing in various parts of the country, including Cairo, Port Said and Alexandria, resulting in casualties.