By Menna Zaki
Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development Mostafa Madbouly has approved the tourism ministry’s proposal to reschedule the payments of debts tourism companies owe to water companies, according to Monday Ministry of Tourism statement.
The full payments of the debts, which have been outstanding since 31 December, will be paid in six equal installments starting 1 July and ending 1 January 2015.
Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou said the decision “alleviates the burden on the tourism companies “, adding that he appreciates that the Minister of Housing understands the challenges facing the tourism sector.
The Minister stressed the importance of reviving Egypt’s tourism sector, as it is the source of income for 16 million citizens.
The number of tourists visiting Egypt fell by 17.9% between 2012 and 2013, according to the most recent report from the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics. The tourists that do visit, are planning shorter trips. On average, tourists in 2013 spent 10.3 nights in Egypt, compared to 12.6 in 2012.
Zaazou is coordinating with the Tourism Activation Authority to increase the flow of German tourists to Egypt, since it has decreased drastically. In 2010, 1.3 million Germans visited Egypt, compared to just 900,000 in 2013.
The minister also met with the Minister of Finance Monday to discuss the ways to overcome the obstacles facing the tourism in Egypt. He is scheduled to meet Minister of Manpower, Minister of Social Solidarity and Minister of Electricity this month.