Egypt at the last moment decided to participate in the Intourmarket exhibition. On February 11, Profi.Travel was told about this by the exhibition director Olga Khotochkina. According to her, the country will take part in the event for the first time in three years. And also booked a rather big stand with an area of 100 square meters. “Apparently, they believe in a good outcome of the latest checks,” she commented.
According to experts, this may really mean that the Egyptian colleagues have got insider information that Russians will soon have the opportunity to fly to the resorts of the Red Sea, especially since the visa for those arriving there this year is free. Perhaps this is due to the recent inspection of the airports of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh. Another argument in favor of this hypothesis is also the planned visit to Egypt of Russian President Vladimir Putin in March.
Recall that the check took place in late January and early February, but its results have not yet been made public. According to the Turkish edition turizmgazetesi.com, Egyptian hoteliers are pinning special hopes on the visit of the Russian leader. They believe that the issue of resuming charters will definitely be raised in the negotiations. And taking into account the positive assessment of the Russian specialists of the airports, Vladimir Putin will not have arguments that could become a serious obstacle to such a decision.
There are other positive developments as well. For example, the number of regular flights from Cairo to Moscow is growing, the opportunity has appeared to fly directly from the regions, although tour operators, with the exception of a new player on the direction, do not see any benefit for themselves.
At the same time, a number of experts believe that the solution to this issue lies in the political plane. According to Profi.Travel sources in Egypt, planes will not fly to the Red Sea resorts until the Egyptian authorities acknowledge the fact that a terrorist attack was the cause of the plane crash over Sinai in 2015.
The same opinion is held by Russian ambassador to Cairo Georgy Borisenko. He noted that Moscow is committed to resuming charter flights with Egyptian resorts and does not rule out that Putin’s visit could move the negotiations off the ground. But at the same time he clarified that there were still a number of unresolved issues. In particular, with the payment of compensation by the Egyptian side to the relatives of the victims of the terrorist attack. In addition, the overall situation in the Middle East remains difficult – extremist groups operate in the region. Therefore, the strictest security measures must be applied not only at airports, but also at the resorts themselves.
The market also does not exclude that Egypt’s decision to participate in Intourmarket was influenced by the venue of the exhibition. In 2019, the two major tourism exhibitions MITT and Intourmarket swapped places. According to some foreign exhibitors, Expocentre Fairgrounds, where Intourmarket has moved, is more convenient in terms of logistics, and therefore better in terms of attendance. At the time of publication, it was not possible to find out whether Egypt will participate in MITT.
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