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Thomas Cook sells its Egyptian, Lebanese businesses - Daily News Egypt

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Thomas Cook sells its Egyptian, Lebanese businesses

Bahraini business acquires tour operator amid staggering tourism in Egypt

6-2 thomas cookBy Doaa Farid

UK-based tour operator Thomas Cook Group has sold its businesses in Egypt and Lebanon to Yousuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo Co WLL of Bahrain, according to Dina Adel, personal assistant to the group’s managing director for Egypt and the Middle East.

On 18 September, Thomas Cook Germany announced that it would resume trips to Egypt from the end of September.

Many travel firms had halted their trips to Egypt over the summer, while the governments of Germany, Russia, France, Spain, Sweden and Italy warned travel agencies to stop selling holiday packages to Egypt amid fears of violence after the dispersal of sit-ins carried out by supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi in 14 August.

Thomas Cook Egypt and Lebanon are large tour operators offering Egyptian and Lebanese customers travel offers in addition to foreign exchange services.

The Yusuf Bin Ahmed Kanoo Group of Companies is one of the largest independent, family-owned companies in the Gulf region. Established in 1890 in Bahrain, the company has operated extensively in the Gulf region since early 1960s.

Kanoo Group services include shipping, travel and leisure, retail, oil and gas, power projects along with other services.

Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou had said at the end of September that the tourism rate has slumped by 80% since August. He added in a televised interview on CBC that value of losses from July until now amount to approximately $1bn.

Zaazou announced that 12 countries have lifted their travel alerts on Egypt, adding that many bookings are expected after Eid El-Adha from Gulf countries, and expressed his expectation that the crisis would ease soon.

With 70% of tourism traffic coming from Europe and 20% from Gulf countries, Zaazou said the ministry had “decided to focus our efforts to restore those two main sources of tourism and create a positive image.”

According to Zaazou, the average spending per tourist has fallen from $85 to $64 per day, and Egypt received 11.5m tourists in 2012.

Webcams would be fixed in touristic places to stream live images on the internet with the assistance of Ministry of Telecommunication, so that tourists can check the situation for themselves, Zaazou said.

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