Egypt’s Minister of Tourism, His Excellency Mr Yehia Rashed, has announced that Thomas Cook Airlines will soon be operating 36 flights a week to Egypt. Speaking at the World Travel Market (WTM) travel industry event in London last week, Mr Rashed said that Thomas Cook flights to Egypt will increase over the popular winter season which is excellent news for divers.
According to Thomas Cook, the airline plan to add new flights to Hurghada from Manchester, London Gatwick and Birmingham. The extra flights will offer increased alternatives for those wishing to travel to Egypt who are unable to travel to Sharm el Sheikh due to the current Foreign and Commonwealth Office Advice.
Over 80 journalists and members of the media attended a press conference on the first day of World Travel Market to hear the Egyptian Minister of Tourism declare Egypt safe and open for business. The stand for the Egyptian Tourism Authority was home to 51 delegates from Egypt’s tourism industry and was awarded the ‘Best Stand for Doing Business’ title from the WTM judges.
More than 1.5 million British visitors came to Egypt in 2010 and this year numbers are expected to be down to less than 300,000 visitors. Despite this, Egypt is confident of growth in 2017 with Thomas Cook, Thomson, Easyjet, British Airways and Egyptair flying every week to Egypt.
Rasha Azaizi, UK director of the Egyptian State Tourist Office in London, said: “We have been humbled and immensely encouraged by the huge level of support we have received from the British travel industry and media at this year’s WTM. While we know there are still challenges to overcome to build our recovery, we are positive we can achieve this with the help of our travel industry partners.”
Photo: Arnaud Chicurel for Egyptian State Tourist Office
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Jump into… A career in diving
A career in doing something that you love… I have heard so many times that diving is just a hobby and not a career. A career by definition is ‘an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress.’
I started diving at the age of 17. I became a PADI Divemaster and from this point progressed to an Open Water instructor, to Staff Instructor, to Master Instructor, to Course Director. Surely by definition this is a career path? The only difference (in some cases) that would dispute this matter… the controversial subject of pay!
I am 100% not going to say that no dive centres in the world pay. I myself do, and I know others that do, too. It does however seem to have become very much the norm, that the ‘because I enjoy it’ philosophy has eradicated the UK diving career path for years. Divers volunteering their help for little or no reward (again… not everyone before you stop reading). To eventually realising, that they are doing hard work, for not much to gain… even paying to carry on doing courses, and to become an instructor to work for that centre. What is all that about?!
If you are the type of person to be happy with that, that is completely fine, so long as you are happy. I was at one point… and then realised that I had invested a lot of my time and money, and when this realisation hit, started to feel undervalued. The instructor I was ‘working for’, for a free hot chocolate at the end of the day, would sit in the cafe whilst I taught in the 3 degree waters in the middle of winter. Obviously the paying customer had booked his course through this person and not me… I was happy with a hot chocolate and having fun… but aren’t all of the best careers the ones that we do not see as work. They aren’t all volunteer roles.
Those of you looking for a career in diving, don’t be put off. There are places that you can work, and a career in diving can literally take you all across the world. Those saying that there is no money in diving… ignore those guys too. There is. Obviously working for free is never going to get you there, but if you want to do it, then do it. There are plenty of places not only looking to employ scuba instructors, there are other jobs at aquariums, conservation roles, the Navy and many others for you to take a look at.
There are also grants to look at for education, the open water instructor course, or anything else after that is not exactly cheap… but still nonetheless worthwhile.
So, please do not take away the fact of diving being a career. It is. The only thing that I will leave you with (dropping a bombshell), is that if we accept the fact of ‘working for free’ then it will never change and still be hard to make a career in diving… I mean, of course there is limited need when there is still the alternate option for a business to have free labour.
Clare began Duttons Divers at just 19 years old and a short while later became one of the world’s youngest PADI Course Directors. Find out more at www.duttonsdivers.com
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