The Egyptian Travel Agents Association (ETAA) asked its members to quickly send the obstacles they face with the Ministry of Social Solidarity to present them to the Egyptian Tourism Federation (ETF).
These will then be presented to Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali, according to an exclusive statement.
According to an ETF official, the federation will submit a memorandum to Minister of Tourism Khaled Rami within the next few days. The official added that the position of tourism companies is still difficult, as the sector has yet to fully recover.
The official hopes that the sector will achieve an inflow of 12 million tourists by the end of the year, compared to 10 million tourists last year.
Egypt’s tourism income last year was at $7.3bn, compared to $5.9bn the year before.
Tourism companies have faced a decline in income during the last four years, making it difficult to pay insurance instalments to Ministry of Social Solidarity, according to ETF Chairman Elhamy Elzayat.
Elzayat believes “the federation will demand delaying the payment of dues for another period that may extend to the end of this year”. He also requested a reduction in what employers and employees pay, from 40% to 20%, pointing out that the economic circumstances do not allow employers and employees to keep paying 40% of wages to social insurances.
According to the Labour Law, employers are obliged to pay 26% of the fixed salaries, while employees are obliged to pay 14% to the Social Insurance Fund.
The number of workers in the tourism sector is 3.5 million workers, including 1.8 million directly employed in the business, Rami said.
“Tourism investors have been suffering from a crisis over four years; floating hotels are the most affected, and their owners do not have any financial capabilities that allow them to pay the instalments,” said Vice President of Floating Hotels Investors Association Abdel Rahman Anwar. He explained that it does not mean that investors will skip paying their financial dues to the government.
Anwar demands that the government delay the payment, especially as hotels are completely out of operations to the point of having been eroded, due to the high temperatures in Luxor and Aswan.