Cairo – Egypt’s tourism agency, Egypt Travel, has confirmed that it will shut down in a bid to prevent it from becoming the latest business to suffer from the crisis gripping the country.
“We are completely aware of the fact that the situation has worsened and that our staff is being affected,” the statement said, adding that the agency’s directors will meet next week to decide the future of its business.
“At this moment we have to find a way to survive.
We are in a position to do that,” the agency said in a statement on Friday, adding it would “not accept any political pressure”.”
We have to focus on our core mission of providing a safe and enjoyable travel experience, and the future we will pursue will be determined by our staff,” it added.’
Unprecedented situation’The agency, which was founded in 2005, has about 1,000 employees and was the first in Egypt to offer flights from Dubai to Egypt, which has seen thousands of tourists from abroad stranded since a 2011 military overthrow.
A month ago, the Egyptian government ordered the closure of Egypt Travel as it struggled to manage the chaos in Egypt.
It shut down its office in the capital, Cairo, and said its flights would be diverted to other airports.
It also imposed a ban on all travel between Egypt and Tunisia and said it would close all flights to the Palestinian territories.
In response to the travel agency’s closure, the tourism ministry said on Friday it was considering all the possibilities to help the agency survive.
“The ministry has taken into account the recent developments in Egypt and the situation on the ground in Egypt,” ministry spokesman Mohammed El-Ghazali told AFP news agency.
“But at the same time, we must also recognize that there is an unprecedented situation that is unfolding.”
El-Ghazzali said the ministry was also considering “all possible ways to support the staff, the clients and the business in the country”.
In a statement, the ministry said it was working to ensure the safety of its employees and clients and to “support the agency in any way possible”.
“This will include measures that include taking appropriate measures to ensure that the organization does not lose any revenue, such as the closing of the agency,” the ministry added.
In a tweet on Friday evening, Egypt’s foreign ministry said that “the government is currently considering all possible means to support Egypt Travel.”
A statement on Egypt Travel’s website on Friday said it had agreed with the ministry’s plan and would be able to resume operations “as soon as possible”.
Egypt Travel said it will have to pay about $1m (£860,000) to the ministry, which will have a 60 per cent cut of the business, to reimburse it for the cost of operations.
In December, a report by the Egyptian newspaper Al Jazeera revealed that more than 1,100 Egyptian travel agencies had shut down since the beginning of the unrest, and that at least 1,200 had been closed since then.