Czech Foreign Ministry not revising its travel advice for Egypt, but advising heightened caution
U.S. intelligence reports that the crash of a Russian passenger plane in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula was most likely caused by a bomb have shocked the international community and raised fresh concerns regarding security and tourism to the region. With Egypt high on the list of Czech popular tourist destinations many holiday-makers awaited the Czech Foreign Ministry’s recommendations.
Egypt is the 6th most popular tourist destination for Czechs traveling abroad with on average 185,000 holiday makers heading there every year. According to the Czech Association of Travel Agencies there are presently around 2,000 Czechs on holiday in Egypt, but none of them in Sharm el-Sheikh. Kateřina Petříčkova of the Czech Association of Travel Agencies told Czech television the agency is closely monitoring events and ready to respond to developments.
“Although Czech travel agencies have been “on alert” since the news broke, we have not registered any cancellations. The British government has suspended flights to Sharm el-Sheikh, but Czech travel agencies stopped flying tourists to this holiday resort in November and will not be doing so for the entire winter season. So a possible ban would have no direct impact on booked holidays.”
Meanwhile, the Czech Foreign Ministry met on Thursday morning to review the situation in light of the latest developments. Spokesperson Ivana Valentová sums up its recommendations.
The Foreign Ministry says it is keeping the situation under constant review and will revise its stand in the event of any change. Interior Minister Milan Chovanec likewise assured the public on Thursday that he had no information regarding a direct security threat to the country and said that any change would most likely involve a revised travel recommendation for Czechs rather than increased security which was adequate to the present situation.