The Egyptian Travel Agents Association (ETAA) called on its members to implement pilgrimage programmes to acquire the final numbers of deceased and missing pilgrims in the Mina stampede near Mecca.
The association circulated a statement to its members, a copy of which was acquired by Daily News Egypt, calling on pilgrimage specialised agencies to send quality reports on the services provided by Saudi Arabian authorities for Egyptian pilgrims.
75 Egyptian pilgrims were killed in the stampede, according to the latest numbers on Wednesday.
According to Chairman of ETAA Khaled El Manawi, the association is set to hold a meeting to discuss the crisis, noting that it will also communicate with the pilgrimage mission to learn the final number of missing pilgrims.
The families of deceased pilgrims will be compensated with EGP 20,000 each, while badly injured pilgrims will receive 50% of the compensation value, according to an ETAA official.
The source at ETAA said the companies are considering meeting with Misr Insurance Company, which is contracted to provide insurance coverage for pilgrims in Saudi Arabia, to request an unspecified increase the coverage amount.
According to the official, deceased or injured pilgrims will only receive the compensation stated in the insurance policy.
Egypt’s share of pilgrims this year was 62,000 pilgrims. About 29,000 pilgrimage visas were received by tourism companies, while the remainder was distributed by the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Social Solidarity.
According to the official at the ETAA, the majority of deceased and missing pilgrims were part of the ministries of Interior and Social Solidarity’s share, adding that tourism companies have filed lawsuits before the administrative court and received a ruling to organise Egypt’s entire share of pilgrimage.
The Saudi authorities have announced that about 900 people were killed in the Mina stampede.
The sources added that pilgrims who have travelled through the ministries built tents in the streets and dishonoured the Egyptian image abroad. However, they also do not receive any high quality services during the pilgrimage season, compared to the services provided for pilgrims travelling through tourism agencies.
The official believes that the cost of pilgrimage through the ministries is not lower than the one arranged by tourism companies, as the price for tourist pilgrimage this year was about EGP 25,000.