Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou has called for increased field inspections of tourism agencies by the ministry, according to a Sunday statement.
The inspection campaigns, to be carried out by the ministry’s tourism agencies department, will inspect whether the companies are adhering to the laws governing the sectors.
“[A violation by] one company reflects on the whole sector and harms its reputation,” said Amani El-Torgoman, president of Egyptian travel company Travco. “[Reinforcing] the campaign will make companies more cautious in following regulations.”
Hussein Abdel-Latif, the head of the ministry’s tourism agencies department said that, between late January and mid-February, committees have inspected around 70 companies.
Among the infractions cited by the inspection committees were the absence of managing directors, placement of ministerial licences in visible places and changes of agencies’ addresses without informing the ministry, he said.
Abdel-Latif added that an investigation would be opened with the offending agencies, after having notified tourism chambers and agencies nationwide of the registered penalties in an effort to discourage their future incidence.
On the same day, the ministry announced that it is cooperating with the Egyptian Federation of Chambers of Tourism to implement a programme to develop the skills of handicraft workers.
Between 1 Januaryand 6 February, around 244 training cycles have already been implemented in similar programs for 2,823 workers in the field.
Egyptian tourism has taken a hit following a bus bombing in Taba earlier this month which killed three Korean tourists and one Egyptian bus driver.
Tourism has been witnessing a gradual month on month improvement in the number of tourists arriving to Egypt, rates are still much lower than those registered during the same period last year.
“We were hoping that the sector would pick up by the summer but after the accidents that were recently witnessed our hopes faded a little,” El-Torgoman said.
The number of tourists arriving in December totalled 677,649, slightly higher than the 672,878 registered the preceding month. In December and November 2012, the number of tourists visiting Egypt was 978,259 and 1,102,684 respectively.