By Abdelrazek Al-Shweikhy
Minister of Tourism, Hesham Zazua, received a report on Egypt’s hotels sector with suggestions as to how best apply newly approved standards to the country’s hotels. The suggestions were made after inspections by hotel officials of a number of the country’s facilities.
The report added that it would begin its final evaluation of 3, 4 and 5 star hotels that had received a 60 per cent rating or better during a series of inspections that took place between November 2010 and July 2011. During these inspections the administration staff of many of these hotels was presented with draft versions of the new standards, and were consulted as to how best to apply them.
The report stated that beginning in May 2013, Egypt’s hotel sector would begin the first of what would be 12 phases ending in 2016, during which various hotels would be expected to apply the new standards to all their facilities.
With regard to implementation, hotels would be required to apply at least 80 per cent of all new criteria in relation to health and tourism, and 100 per cent of all other mandatory specifications. In the event that a hotel is not able to apply at least 80 per cent of these standards, they are to be granted an additional six months to do so.
Hotels that fail entirely to apply the new criteria will still be evaluated and rated according to them regardless of what their previous rating has been.
In the event that there exists a hotel which has various levels of rating but only one permit, they will be evaluated based on their lowest level rating, or the licenses will be split and separated based on each rating. If a hotel is found to lack facilities, then new standards regarding those facilities will not be applied.
The report obtained by the minister of tourism said that some standards needed to be amended in order to enable some institutions to be able to apply them in their entirety.
In relation to this, a prominent official within the tourism ministry said, “the price of services in Egypt’s tourist industry has gone down since the January 25th Revolution, as the average cost a night in an Egyptian hotel has dropped to $65.”
He added that now would be the best time to begin applying these new standards considering the low number of reservations in Egypt’s hotels. A majority of these criteria are expected to be applied by 2015, with the coming two years to be dedicated to the recovery of the sector.