Russian tourists not to leave Egypt despite unrest

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Moscow, Feb 1 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russian tourists in Egypt have no plans to interrupt their vacations and leave the country hit by nationwide unrest, tour operators said Tuesday.

According to the Association of Russian Tour Operators (ARTO), there were about 45,000 Russian tourists in Egypt Jan 29.

Konstantin Shvartser of Pegas Touristik said only 18 of about 18,000 vacationers who had bought a package tour had asked to leave early.

Inturist CEO Viktor Topolakarayev said 38 vacationers had originally asked Sunday to be evacuated but later many of them changed their minds.

“This shows that everything is calm in the resort areas and no one wants to leave,” he said.

In addition to the 45,000 vacationers, about 30,000 Russian nationals have bought real estate and live or work in the country on a permanent or temporary basis.

“In all, at present there are about 75,000 Russians on Egyptian territory,” ARTO deputy head Maya Lomidze said.

The unrest in Egypt, which began Jan 25, has claimed the lives of over 100 people and injured some 4,000. Anti-government demonstrators are demanding President Hosny Mubarak step down from office after three decades of rule.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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