Egypt: Georgian Tourists Rush In, Where Foreigners Fear to Tread
It takes a lot to come between Georgians and their love of the sun. Popular uprisings and violent brawls with police? Yawn. A government teetering on the brink of collapse? Been there, done that.
So perhaps it should come as no surprise that, while Americans and Europeans are scrambling to be evacuated from Egypt, a charter plane carrying 82 Georgian visitors will leave Tbilisi tonight for the Egyptian seaside resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.
Earlier today, the Georgian Foreign Ministry warned Georgians against traveling to Egypt, but a local airline says that its flights between Tbilisi and Sharm el-Sheikh will continue as planned.
No protests have hit the Red Sea resort spot, a popular winter destination for Georgians, but one BBC correspondent reported coming back from dinner to find his hotel barricaded.
Yet even if the Egyptian army and rebels were battling in the background, Georgia's Sharm-el-Sheikh-bound tourists would most likely be snorkeling in the Red Sea, smoking the hookah, shopping till they drop and taking pictures. Just call 'em extreme tourists. They might be joined by a good many Armenian tourists, too; travel agencies in Armenia report only one cancellation, and the Armenian government does not plan to offer evacuations. By contrast, some 100 Azerbaijanis have been
evacuated from Egypt already.Not that the Georgian tourists can really cancel their tour packages. Those Georgians who are having second-thoughts about their booked trips to Egypt face two options: be charged a 30-percent cancellation fee or instead fly to Dubai, tour agencies are saying.Both places have sand and are kind of similar, right?