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Personal travel agents boost holiday bookings

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The British holidaymaker is back in fine fettle with a January jump in bookings for the summer.

Helping sales is a growing army of 2,000 personal travel agents who work from home and visit clients whenever convenient.

Worries about a Brexit effect on travel and the economy caused a lull over Christmas, but the vital New Year selling season is off to a rapid start.

Bookings so far for May to October are up 5% versus the same period last year.

Michelle Tolton, from the village of Rothley, near Leicester, sells holidays in clients’ houses, over the phone and via Facebook.

“It’s going well this year,” she says, “People are booking early. They want to escape the doom and gloom.

“I do all the legwork because they have busy lives.”

Visiting a local customer, Kate Newman, the talk is about a holiday for 16 members of her family to one of this year’s most popular destinations.

“We’re still thinking of Turkey – you get more for your money,” Kate explains.

Michelle is well on her way to her target of a hundred bookings for the year.

Many are to Europe, but she has also sold trips to see gorillas and luxury jaunts to Mauritius and Australia.

The last two weeks have been a crucial period for the travel industry, after pre-Christmas speculation that people would be advised not to book trips for fear of a no-deal Brexit.

But the New Year has been even busier than usual, according to the latest figures from the market specialists GfK Travel Insights.

Non-EU destinations are up 19% compared with last year. That includes Turkey, but also Egypt and Tunisia.

Fewer mini-breaks?

The typical spend is higher as well, with the average selling price per person up slightly to £982.

The travel agents group, ABTA, says its surveys show that 38% of holidaymakers plan to spend the same as last year and 27% intend to spend more.

Alistair Rowland of Co-operative Travel believes some customers could be cutting back on mini-breaks and allocating more cash to their main holiday.

And he believes they are not being distracted by concerns about the UK leaving the EU.

“I think if anything people are so tired of Brexit, and they are used to their pound buying less,” he says.

“They are not willing to give up their main holiday of the year and they’re willing to invest in it.”

Travel shops are under pressure as more travellers buy over the internet.

But industry insiders expect the new breed of Personal Travel Agents will lead the fightback.

There could be a thousand more of them over the next few years, working from their kitchens and encouraging us to book early and book often.

Even this year, though, there are still plenty of would-be holidaymakers who prefer to bide their time and hold out for a bargain later on.

It's Just me, Akram Moftah typical cancer radio announcer crazy about cinema, photography, videography, soccer, Radio, internet, marketing, cars.

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Travel

Tourism, Antiquities min. inspects archaeological site of Minya’s Amarna

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MINYA, Egypt – 1 February 2019: Antiquities Minister Khaled Anani and Tourism Minister Rania el Mashat inspected on Friday the archaeological site of Tell el-Amarna, Dayr Mawas, in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Minya.

The two ministers are set to take part in a ceremony organized by Minya University on Saturday to announce the discovery of a new archaeological site in Tuna el-Gebel, Mallawi.

Minya Governor Qassem Hussein received the two ministers in the presence of Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Moustafa Waziri.

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Moscow says no deadline set for resuming flights to Egyptian resorts

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CAIRO – 1 February 2019: Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov told TASS on Tuesday that no deadline has been set for the resumption of flights between Russia and the Egyptian resorts.

Russian flag carrier Aeroflot already resumed flights to Cairo in April after more than two-and-a-half years of suspension.

Bogdanov said that despite the absence of charters, a considerable number of tourists still visit Egyptian resorts through third countries. “In terms of distance, quality and price of products, Egypt is a unique place,” he stated.

Flights were suspended at the end of 2015 after a bomb downed a flight carrying holidaymakers from the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, killing all 224 people on board, mostly Russian tourists. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State terrorist group.

Since the crash, Egypt has been implementing new, tighter security measures at all of its airports to meet the Russian demands necessary for the resumption of flights, with multiple visits from Russian security delegations to observe changes implemented by the government.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has decreed to resume flights from Moscow to Cairo in January 2018. On April 11, 2018, the first flight of Russia’s Aeroflot airlines arrived to Cairo International Airport.

An Airbus 320 with 160 Russian passengers on board arrived at Terminal 2 of the Cairo International Airport; the Egyptian Aviation Services Company facilitated all the procedures for the Russian passengers.

On October 15 2018, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi embarked on a three-day official visit to Russia, during which he met with his Russian counterpart.

Sisi told press he reviewed with Putin the resumption of direct flights from Russia to Sharm El-Sheikh, Hurghada, and others. Putin agreed during the meeting to resume flights between the two countries, referring that Egypt exerts extensive efforts to secure air flights.

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Medial tourism bill to be discussed in parliament soon: MP

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CAIRO – 1 February 2019: A new bill for medical tourism in Egypt will be discussed in the general session of the House of Representatives soon, member of parliament Amr Sedki told Egypt Today on Friday

House of Representatives’ Tourism and Civil Aviation Committee has finished its final report on the bill and will submit it for the general discussion, he added.

In previous remarks in December 2011, Sedki said the draft law will ensure coordination between the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Health in the emerging field of medical tourism, adding that Egypt has around 1,300 medical sites, but they do not have resorts; hence, the ministries will cooperate to develop these sites.

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