The Ministry of Tourism is working on promoting tourism in the upcoming period by facilitating and providing incentives to sector investors. This will occur through activating the single-window system in the General Authority for Tourism Development, according to the Economic Adviser to the Minister of Tourism, Adla Ragab.
Investors pay 27% of the price of the land they receive, with a grace period of three years, and instalments to be paid over seven years at a 5% interest rate, Ragab said.
Ragab added that the Ministry of Tourism has prepared five huge investment projects to be put forward during the Economic Summit. She said the projects aim to attract capital of more than EGP 5bn. The projects vary from hotels, to services, entertainment, and commercial developments, which helps tourism product diversity in Egypt, increasing its competitiveness against other destinations in the region.
Egypt’s tourism income amounted to $7.5bn in 2014, compared to $5.9bn in 2013, according to Ragab. She said that the means of offering lands for the projects vary between usufruct and direct attribution, with the investor receiving special facilitations and incentives regarding payment.
Ragab believes the Ministry of Tourism considers the lands under its jurisdiction a development partner for the investor, seeking to overcome all the obstacles facing them until the completion of the project.
Tourism investments on Tourism Development Authority (TDA) lands account for EGP 68bn, where Arab investments account for about 3%, according to TDA statistics.
She noted that the return rate for tourism investors in Egypt is very high as the tourism product is subject to pressured demand, and is recovering under the current political stability.
The flow of tourists to Egypt increased during the second half of last year, with the completion of the first and second steps of the roadmap, the constitutional referendum, and the presidential elections, according to statements from former Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou to Daily News Egypt.
The number of operating hotel rooms in Egypt is 225,000 rooms, 65% of which are located in the regions of the Red Sea and South Sinai, while the rest are distributed on the regions of Cairo, Alexandria, and Upper Egypt.
“Despite the circumstances experienced by the tourism sector during the past four years, the sector defied all the problems, and is still working and providing job opportunities for the young people of Egypt,” said Ragab.
Tourism provides 3.8m jobs, whether direct or indirect, according to Ragab, who added that the Egyptian tourism sector is capable of doubling employment opportunities with its growth and recovery over the upcoming years.
The Ministry of Tourism aims to increase the number of tourists to 20 million tourists over the next five years, according to Ragab, as well as increasing the rate of expenditure of tourists to $120 per night, compared to $81 by the end of 2014.
Tourist activity in Egypt has the advantage of having diverse tourism products between beaches, safari, cultural tourism, and religious tourism, which increases the sector’s ability to withstand the crisis.
The number of tourist arrivals during last year was 10 million tourists according to Ragab, and the ministry aims to increase these numbers to 12 million this year.