The Marsa Alam Investors Association submitted a complaint to Governor of the Red Sea Ahmed Abdullah, regarding the imposition of fees on tourist resorts in the region by the Red Sea Ports Authority.
Adel Rady, chairperson of the association, said that the grievance submitted to the governor includes that most of the scaffolding is a marine walkway and not a port for boats and cannot be used for this purpose but only used to enable guests to go to sea.
He noted that according to the constitution, no fees or taxes are imposed, adding that these latest fees were imposed by a decision from the Minister of Transport. He said that the government should have talked to the Ministry of Tourism and the Red Sea governorate to find out the truth of the matter, pointing out that these committees are imposing charge for use of EGP 110 per sqm, next to 50% of insurance, 14% value added tax (VAT), EGP 100 of inspection fees, and EGP 0.5 of stamp fees.
He pointed out that occupancy rates are still very weak in the region, adding that the government should have supported the sector instead of adding more burden on it and to coordinate with the rest of concerned agencies, as 50% of the hotels are still closed since the past three years.
Rady highlighted the association hopes to reconsider these additional burdens on the tourist investors in the region, especially as the sector began to receive the winter season from some European countries.
There are 20,000 rooms in the region’s hotels, but only 50% of them are operational due to the low rates of inbound tourism.
Rady noted that there has been an improvement in the flow of some European nationalities, especially Germans and Italians recently.