We mean neither so-called extreme tourism, nor special offers for surviving in jungles or in a desert; we just say that the menace of war in Iraq made the world largest concerns develop programs for transfer of tourists in some alternative directions.
Spokesman for the TUI concern Robin Zimmerman said as quoted by Deutsche Welle radio, majority of clients “are not going to cancel their trips, they just change the routes of their travels.” Nina Dumbert from the concern Thomas Cook AG that owns the travelling agencies Neckermann, Aldiana and Air Marin, says that a crisis staff was created in the company especially for development of several scenarios. Each scenario has a specific plan to meet the interests of clients without cancellation of travels. The matter concerns also resort places so much loved by Europeans, where it is not ruled out that under present-day conditions Moslem population unfriendly toward western tourists my organize demonstrations or even cause some harm. Robin Zimmerman says that the TUI concern is already developing alternative bus routes and arranges air corridors for its liners. The company also employs more personnel in countries included in to a problem list.
It is surprising but until recently the Iraqi crisis had insignificant effect upon tourists who wanted to spend vacations in Turkey or in Egypt. The Thomas Cook concern even registered an increase in the number of tourist applications within the winter season 2002-2003, that is to end in March, as compared with the same year-ago period. But no tendency of this kind have been registered yet as compared with the forthcoming summer season. Nina Dumbert says that although the number of booked travels to Turkey is reducing as compared with the previous year, clients don’t cancel their trips. What is more, Egyptian routes were even in a keen demand that has reduced only recently.
Thomas Cook and the affiliates anticipate that a nervous strain may arise in connection with travels to East Mediterranean region, that is why the company offers a free service to those clients who book travels before March 31, 2003: clients can change directions of their trips eight weeks before the previously chosen tour.
As USA Today reports, US travel agencies recommend American tourists leaving abroad not to participate in political discussions in public places, to avoid visiting American snack bars, to show their American passports as less as possible and to avoid demonstrating things with US symbols, the stars and stripes flag on T-shirts, for instance. The newspaper thinks that atmosphere in Europe is getting less agreeable for Americans staying in the Old World, those who travel or live there.
President of iJet Travel Intelligence specializing on strategic planning of vacations, the man considered one of the most influential tourism specialists, Bruce McIndoe says that American tourists abroad must learn to speak in a low voice.
The weekly Stern published in Hamburg reported results of a sociological poll held among 2.000 respondents in Germany on January 15-29. It reports that 56% of the questioned don’t think about the danger of terrorist acts when they leave for travels (this opinion was shared by 72% respondents in 2002). 61% respondents think that Switzerland is the safest traditional tourism objective. Average German tourists think that Egypt, the USA, South America and South-Eastern Asia are the most dangerous countries for tourism.
MiK news agency