A new government programme seeks to provide immediate short term support to the sector, in addition to encouraging investment for projects in the mid to long term.
The plan included measures to postpone the timetable for collection of debt and overdue payments on electricity, energy and rent for tourist companies and facilities. The plan would further attempt to speed up the resolution of pending legal and financial disputes between various tourist investment companies, in addition to the establishment of a fund to address the sector’s various crises.
Beginning in the middle of Egypt’s current season, the plan would not seek to impose any increases in taxes and burdens on the sector, however experts that some inevitable increases may occur with the onset of the country’s next tourist season in November.
Tourism rates in Egypt increased 10.1% in the period from July 2012 to January 2013, with the number of recorded tourist nights reaching 91.2 million, and revenues from tourism reaching EGP 6.8bn.
The programme seeks to involve Egyptian companies and organisations in more international tourist conferences, and provide monetary incentives to foreign organisations in the hope of convincing international travel agencies and companies to work harder to include Egypt in their itineraries. Plans also exist to diversify the different types of tourist spots located throughout the country, with attempts to promote green and medical tourism, to be promoted through an aggressive new international ad campaign.
The programme would also include plans to establish charter flights to Taba and other prominent tourist destinations, in addition to increasing the number of flights coming from Japan, China and other developed countries. This would be in addition to plans to improve the efficiency of the country’s road network connecting the nation’s airports, hotel facilities, ports and tourist attractions and plans to promote, improve and increase Nile tourism in particular.
The government also seeks to improve the ease at which residents from foreign countries can obtain visas to come to Egypt, in what is hoped to increase the number of tourists come to Egypt to 1 million each year. Egypt’s Tourist Minister, Hisham Zazua, stated that conditions would particularly be eased for those coming from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.
An official from within the government said that plans were also currently underway to help facilitate the more efficient distribution of financial tools and loans to equip facilities with new and reusable energy. EGP 6bn would be spent over the next 3 years for this purpose, which if implemented successfully is expected to decrease the operating costs of these facilities. Officials stated that the programme would begin its implementation in July 2013.