Thomas Cook, Europe’s second-largest tour operator, will bolster its tour offerings to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2012 to try and offset almost £20m in losses after it had to cancel trips to Egypt and Tunisia in response to the unrest caused by the Arab Spring – a move likely to be echoed by other major industry players, according to an article by Shane McGinley in ArabianBusiness.com. Egypt alone had previously accounted for seven percent of Thomas Cook’s profit, and the company had to obtain a rescue loan due to assisting vacationers affected by the events.
McGinley elaborated on the toll in the region:
The Arab Spring has taken a toll on tourism in cash-strapped nations from Jordan and Egypt to Morocco and Tunisia, costing the region more than $7bn, according to the Arab Tourism Organization in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia… Tourist arrivals to the Middle East are predicted to fall six percent across 2011 due to the impact of regional political unrest, the World Travel Market Global Trends Report 2011 said last month.
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