Alcohol-free destinations unpopular with British holidaymakers

Published on 1 January 1970 by Raffick Marday

A poll of more than 10,000 British adults, undertaken in the wake of the opening of an alcohol-free hotel in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada last month, has revealed that nearly two-thirds would avoid holiday destinations where they couldn’t drink alcohol.

The research, carried out by TripAdvisor, found that 60% said the idea of not being able to drink at their destination would deter them from going there on holiday.

The survey was prompted by the opening of the Le Roi in Egypt last month, which is aimed at attracting conservative Muslim tourists to the region. As well as a ban on alcohol, the hotel has also designated the top floor and one of its swimming pools for women only.

Some feel that the new moves may damage the revival of the tourist industry in Egypt, which is still struggling to return to the levels of popularity that existed prior to the ‘Arab Spring’.

Yasser Kamal, the owner of the hotel, said: "The idea of launching a hotel without alcohol is not to adhere to any particular movement but rather to provide a new kind of tourism."

It is estimated that more than 11 million holidaymakers visited the country last year, a figure that includes more than a million British holidaymakers. This is an overall rise of 17% on the previous year, but is still significantly lower than the figure of almost 15 million in 2009.

The figures reflect the concerns of many potential visitors over basic safety and security issues, as the country continues to feel the political fallout of the peoples’ democratic uprising.

The British Foreign Office currently advises against all but essential travel to certain parts of the country, and also that visitors to Egypt should avoid demonstrations and exercise caution in public places.

Radical factions within the new government have called for alcohol to be totally banned throughout Egypt, reflecting the newer and more non-secular influences in power, and for mixed-sex beaches to be outlawed.

Cost is another influencing aspect of overseas breaks, with holidaymakers generally seeking out cheaper options. A good way to keep costs to a minimum wherever you go is by using a prepaid card to stay on budget.

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