Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman said improving the infrastructure of hotels, increasing their efficiency, and training personnel in the fields of services and hospitality is “necessary” at times of low tourism rates, along with the expansion of existing hotels.
Salman, on behalf of the Prime Minister, inaugurated last week a hotel affiliated to a global hotel chain in Sharm El-Sheikh with investments estimated at EGP 2.4bn on an area of 250,000 meters square.
According to an official at the Ministry of Investment, the Holding Company for Tourism and Hotels will conduct revision, development, and modernisation of the infrastructure of its hotels after negotiations with the minister in the current phase until tourism recovers. This way, it would be able to provide better services and raise their revenues in the future.
According to Salman, the new hotel business project includes about 800 hotel rooms and a variety of recreational areas and services, along with an area of 100,000 square meters for the establishment of city water games.
Egyptian tourism has been affected by the Russian plane crash in Sharm El-Sheikh in October 2015 and the evacuation of European nationals that followed. However, the Egyptian government has contracted an international company to review airport security and a number of tourist destinations to reassure the world and revive tourism.
“Any addition to hotel capacity in Sharm El-Sheikh and other tourist areas in Egypt contributes to increasing tourism and attracts inflows to Egypt and provide tourists with options,” Salman said.
The expansion of high-ranking and premium-quality hotels contributes to attracting higher segments of tourists. It also provides job opportunities to accommodate a larger number of direct and indirect employment opportunities.
The Egyptian tourism sector has been losing EGP 2.2bn per month due to the Russian plane crash on 31 October, Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou said in December.
The incident has led many countries, including Russia and the UK, to ban flights to Sharm El-Sheikh airport. Zaazou said additional, indirect losses could amount to between EGP 700m and EGP 1bn per month.
Egypt relies on tourism as one of its sources of foreign exchange as well as foreign direct investments, and represents a significant part of the Egyptian income.
Salman said Egyptian tourism cities are able to accommodate and attract more tourism investment opportunities since they possess the necessary elements to attract investment as well as a variety of touristic destinations.