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Swiss shun Sharm el-Sheikh

Egyptians have protested against the bomb attacks in Sharm el-Sheikh

(Keystone)

Numerous Swiss tourists have cancelled their holidays in Egypt in the wake of Saturday’s terrorist attacks in Sharm el-Sheikh.

The main travel operators are offering their customers alternative offers free of charge.

Switzerland’s leading tour operator, Kuoni, said 130 customers had cancelled Monday’s flight to the Egyptian seaside resort or booked for other destinations.

Kuoni said about one in three clients had cancelled their holidays in Sharm el-Sheikh.

"But many tourists did not change their arrangements because of a feeling of solidarity with Egypt," spokeswoman Andrea Hemmi said.

Rival Hotelplan also said about half of its 220 clients who were planning to travel to Sharm el-Sheikh had cancelled. The others were considering alternatives.

Together with TUI Switzerland, another travel operator, they are granting their customers a free offer to cancel or book alternative destinations.

There were an estimated 1,000 Swiss tourists in and around Sharm el-Sheikh at the time of the attacks on Saturday which killed at least 88 people, mostly Egyptians.

Investigations continue

So far no Swiss are reported to have been killed, but investigations are still underway.

Experts visited the hospitals around Sharm el-Sheikh but found no Swiss patients, according to Elvia insurance company.

Nearly 300 Swiss tourists returned on a special flight from the holiday resort on Sunday, while a three-strong care team sent to Egypt arrived in Zurich on Monday.

The Swiss foreign ministry said on Tuesday that it was no longer advising tourists against travelling to the Sinai peninsula. But it asked tourists to be aware of the fact that, as in other countries, there were risks.

"We are not giving orders, this is strictly our advice," spokeswoman Carine Carey told swissinfo. "It is additional information so people can decide whether to go ahead or cancel a holiday trip."

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

A series of attacks in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh killed at least 88 people, mostly Egyptians.
A group close to al-Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the bomb blasts which it described as revenge for crimes against Muslims.
The attacks are the worst against tourist sites in Egypt.

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