The cabinet has demanded the Egyptian Tourism Federation (ETF) establishes a new company for the management of archaeological areas, according to ETF Chairman Elhamy El-Zayat. He added that some investors offered to build the company with capital worth $50m.
According to El-Zayat, the new company will aim to economically manage the tourist areas, increasing the areas’ income, which have significantly dropped during the past four years.
The two Saudi businessmen, Fahd El-Shobokshi and Abd Al-Rahman Al-Sharbatly, are studying the establishment of a joint stock company.
In 2010, tourist flow to Egypt reached around 14.7 million tourists, while in the past four years it did not exceed 2013’s figure of 11 million tourists per year. Flow rates declined again last year to 9.9 million tourists.
The Ministry of Antiquities decided to raise visit fees for archaeological areas in the second half of 2015, within its strategy to increase income by the end of the year.
Last year, Egypt’s tourist income was at $7.3bn, a growth of $1.2bn compared to the previous year.
According to an official at the Ministry of Antiquities, the government is targeting building a number of museums in tourist areas, which will raise tourist expenditures to $100 per night, in comparison to the current $73.
The official, who preferred anonymity, believes that the government needs EGP 1bn to build two museums in South Sinai and Hurghada over the next two years, which requires economic management for the archaeological areas.
These areas were the most affected by the reduction in tourism flow during the last four years, according to the official. He added that “we have to think out of the box for the next period to increase income”.
He added that the ministry is studying expanding in building museums within the archaeological areas, in addition to signing agreements and arrangements with tourist companies to settle tourist programmes that combine enjoying the sea with visiting tourist areas.
The Ministry of Antiquities conducted an agreement with the ETF and the Chamber of Hotels at the beginning of 2013, to donate for the construction works of the Grand Egyptian Museum. The donation would be $1 for every tourist who visits Egypt in the next period.
The official mentioned that “this agreement is yet to come into effect; we hope to activate it to finish the construction works before the end of this year”.
The Ministry of Antiquities demands EGP 58m monthly to pay salaries of its workers and employees, while the income decreased the previous few months to less than EGP 15m monthly.