Books – Youssef Afifi:
Ahmed Eissa, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, announced that Egypt needs about 500,000 tourist rooms to receive between 30 and 40 million tourists annually, noting that Egypt now has 211,000 tourist rooms.
The minister referred to a study conducted on many countries of the world, which revealed that there are 272 million tourists from 12 countries who confirmed their readiness and desire for tourism in Egypt.
The government said that it aims to increase tourism revenues during the next 3 years to 30 billion dollars, to meet the gap in foreign exchange, and to exploit the country’s tourism potential to increase the sector’s revenues, which is one of the main sources of hard currency.
Tourism officials and experts believe that these figures and revenues can be achieved after decreasing the exchange rate of the Egyptian pound against the dollar and the subsequent increase in the competitiveness of Egyptian tourism, which led to a reduction in the cost of travel and accommodation for tourists.
Officials and experts welcomed the government’s endeavor to increase tourism revenues, to address the gap in foreign exchange, and to exploit the country’s tourism potential to increase revenues from the sector, which is one of the main sources of hard currency.
Dr. Khaled Sherif, Assistant Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, said digital transformation, that reaching tourism revenues of $30 billion within 3 years requires removing all obstacles facing tourists, from arrival at the airport to the end of the trip.
Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, Prime Minister, had asked investors in the tourism sector to prepare a list of all requests and proposals for the advancement of the sector, saying: Even if the bird’s milk would come in support of this sector.. Dream and we will fulfill dreams in support of this vital sector.
Sherif explained to Masrawy that the obstacles are represented in the actions of some Egyptians, including: harassing workers at the airport, running after tourists to ride a taxi, and the tourist’s inability to use public transportation for fear of harassment, especially in archaeological sites and museums outside the scope of the place.
According to the Prime Minister’s statements, a comprehensive development has been carried out at Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport, which qualifies it to receive more than 10 million tourists throughout the year.
The Assistant Minister of Tourism and Antiquities confirmed that the 30 billion pounds means about 200%, and that comes through the frequent visits of tourists, continuing: “But how is this done and there are some inconveniences that occur towards tourists?”
And the Assistant Minister of Tourism and Antiquities continued: “It is not impossible for us to reach this number, but on the condition that the whole country works on it and the first need is the rule of law.”
The government launched, earlier, several initiatives to support tourism since the Corona pandemic, most notably the Central Bank’s initiative to postpone bank dues for tourism companies for a period of 3 years, and for workers for a period of 6 months, to end by the end of this year, and reduce the price of aviation fuel for tourist trips to 15 cents, Exemption from the tax on tourist and hotel real estate, and postponing the payment of debts owed by tourist facilities to the government.
Half a million rooms
Majed El-Gamal, head of the Taba Investors Association for Tourism Development, presented to Masrawy the optimal plan to reach $30 billion in 3 years, according to the Prime Minister, which includes four axes:
First – Increasing the number of operating hotel rooms to 500,000 by completing all projects under construction.
Second – Increasing the number of airports in Egypt and expanding Al-Qaim to reach an annual operating capacity in the range of 20 to 25 million tourists.
Third – good marketing targeting the tourist with the ability to spend high and not the tourist with low income.
Fourth – Encouraging and assisting investors to complete their projects and preserve the existing one by postponing any financial obligations they currently have, such as taxes, land installments, fees and the many fines currently imposed on them by state agencies, and dropping them completely from existing projects in new areas that have been suffering since 2011 until now from Many force majeure circumstances (such as the Taba / Nuweiba area).
Egypt’s cash reserves declined for the third month in a row, to record $33.143 billion at the end of last July.
Satohi Mostafa, head of the Tourist Investors Association in Aswan, confirmed that Egypt can achieve $30 billion within 3 years, provided several facilities are provided.
And “Stohi”, by Masrawy, reviewed these facilities, including: reducing the prices of flights and organizing programs that include the price of the trip and the places of the rooms, provided that the Egyptian companies are the organizers of these trips and are not small agencies from external companies, with the solidarity of all parties from tourist rooms, the Tourism Promotion Authority and the ministries Tourism, aviation, foreign affairs and culture to develop a unified program led by Egyptian tourism companies, with the aim of making tourism income entirely for the benefit of Egypt and not for the benefit of foreign companies.
Satohi stressed the need to focus on eco-tourism, as the city of Aswan includes Nubian villages and houses, and this requires cleaning, organizing, facilitating, painting and promoting it from now on.
He pointed to the need to announce this tourism in government programs in an actual and serious manner, and to talk in the media and the visual, print and audio media about the advantages and beauty of ecological, beach, recreational, archaeological and cultural tourism, in addition to paving roads and services and raising their level, while educating workers in tourism and training them in a good and organized manner on The importance of preserving tourists quickly, spreading security and securing roads to preserve tourists and reduce road accidents.
Satohi pointed out the necessity of exploiting the energy crisis in Europe, because it helps in the arrival of tourists to the Middle East region from this November until the end of February 2023, as Europe is looking for warm regions, and there are many tourists from Germany, France, Switzerland and America flocking to Egypt, especially in the city of Aswan, due to their concern about the energy crisis in Europe, all of which require focus, while highlighting internal propaganda and educating Egyptians about it, but focusing more on foreign tourism.
And he stressed the need to equip all hotels, as the winter season is promising, since all hotels are “full” and we need additional rooms, which requires removing all obstacles facing the hotel sector as a whole in terms of opening closed rooms and hotels, while solving energy, electricity, water, taxes, loan crisis and lifting The level of hotels, facilitating financing for investors during the coming period, and exploiting, advertising and promoting lake tourism and fishing trips.