Thomas Cook restarts Egypt trips for German holidaymakers

FRANKFURT, Sept 18 Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:05am EDT

FRANKFURT, Sept 18 (Reuters) - Tour operator Thomas Cook Germany will restart trips to Egypt from the end of September, just ahead of the peak winter sun season, it said on Wednesday.

Many travel firms halted trips to the country after violence broke out in July and August and governments advised holidaymakers to stay away, hurting a vital part of Egypt's economy.

Germany has not altered its travel recommendation for Egypt, which advises tourists against going to the resorts but stops short of a full travel warning, as the French government has put in place.

Thomas Cook Germany said however that the situation in Egypt had become much calmer over the last few weeks and that the Red Sea resorts, which attract beach lovers and divers, had remained quiet.

"For this reason and in order to support tourism in Egypt, we have decided to restart our Egypt programme," Thomas Cook Germany head Michael Tenzer said.

Tourism accounts for around 11 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in Egypt and the country is especially popular with travellers from Russia, Britain and Germany seeking sunshine during the European winter.

Rival TUI Deutschland, part of Europe's largest tour operator TUI Travel, said that it was not restarting trips, citing the unchanged advice from the foreign ministry.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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