Brno - The ongoing rebellion in Egypt against the deeply unpopular president Mubarak raises hopes on a better regime in the most populous Arab country, but also creates deep concerns revolving mostly around possible negative effects on the global economy, international transport routes (Suez canal), oil prices and regional stability.
Czech Airline and travel companies are already feeling the pinch and have reported heavy losses, because Egypt is a very popular destination for Czech travelers.
Up to the date, Czech air travel companies have lost CZK 100 mil (EUR 4 mil), while travel agencies CZK 50 mil (EUR 2 mil) since the beginning of the rebellion
"The losses are going to grow in the following months, even if the situation calms down. It will take more time to regain the trust of tourists," said Tomio Okamura from the Association of Travel Agencies of Czech Republic.
Every year, 170,000 Czechs come to visit Egypt, which makes it the sevenths most popular tourist destination for Czechs.
Until the end of this week, six charter airliners will fly to Egypt for Czech tourists. Five will be operated by the Czech travel company Travel service, one by the Czech Airlines. Most of them will arrive in Hurghada.
For Travel service, which cooperates with largest Czech travel agencies such as CK Exim tours, Čedok, or Fisher, these will be the last flights to Egypt for some time, as the mentioned tourist agencies have canceled all tours to Egypt for the last two weeks.
In addition, the situation in Egypt can increase the prices of other tours, even to different destinations.
"The costs of the canceled tours will reach millions in the next two weeks, but we have decided not to ask our clients to pay cancellation fees," said Dan Plovajko from the Fisher travel agency.
Every year, 13 million tourists from all over the world come to Egypt. "Half of them are Europeans, so it can be expected that in case of ongoing troubles, they choose some other Mediterranean destination, above all Portugal, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Greece and Turkey," said Okamura, adding that even last minute tours would get more expensive in that case.