PLANTATION (CBS4) – As the situation in Egypt continues to deteriorate each day, the fighting half-way around the world is impacting business here in South Florida.
Egypt’s crisis began last week and has expanded each day. According to Al-Jazeera, as many as 250,000 people have swarmed the streets in recent days calling for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to resign.
Over one hundred have died and the situation is showing no signs of backing down anytime soon. Mubarak just had a new cabinet sworn in, but the protesters want him gone and until then, they will likely continue to fight.
The U.S. State Department has started to evacuate 900 Americans from Egypt on Monday and will continue to try to evacuate the 2,400 Americans in Egypt who have contacted the State Department asking for evacuation.
All of that is leaving travel agencies like Adam Travel in Plantation trying to bring in business, despite the violence around the world.
“We have people testing first if the situation in Egypt is escalating,” said Arif Ibraham of Adam Travel. “After the 25th of January, we’ve had a lot of calls of cancelation.”
The problems are likely to grow for travel agencies and airlines that make their livings getting people to exotic locales like Egypt. The recent wave of violence has people not just canceling trips they have planned for the next few days; they’re changing their itineraries for later in the year as well.
“They’re wanting to go for business, but they’re changing everything,” said travel agent Nancy Chehadi. “Now it’s high season in June, July to book the flights, but nobody’s calling.”
And with the situation in Egypt becoming more and more tenuous by the minute, it may take several months to get the travel industry back in full swing to the Middle East.