The number of foreign tourism companies in debt to Egyptian companies reached 74 by the end of August.
Daily News Egypt acquired a list of the companies in debt to Egyptian companies. Italy’s companies topped the list, as seven Italian tourism companies are in debt to their Egyptian counterparts. Russia and Poland come in second with six ailing companies each. In fourth place comes Germany with three companies. The rest of the list is distributed among other countries with one or two companies each.
The majority of companies are located in the European market, according to the list.
An official at the Ministry of Tourism said that the dues owed to Egyptian tourism companies have been increasing throughout the last two years. The number has been rising from some 30 companies to reach 74 companies by the end of August.
The source added that the economic situation in Europe during the last year is responsible for the rise in the number of financially distressed companies.
He anticipated the number to rise by the end of 2015 due to the increasing pressure on the Russian rouble against the US dollar.
The exchange price of the rouble on Tuesday against the dollar was at 68.49 roubles.
The number of Russian arrivals during the last year amounted to 3.1 million Russian tourists, topping the total arrivals to Egypt.
The total income from Russian tourism was $2.5bn out of a total tourism income of $7.3bn in 2014.
Ihab Abdel Aal, who is a member of the Egyptian Travel Agents Association (ETAA), said the global economic situation is the cause of the rising number of troubled companies, which owe Egyptian companies overdue debts.
Abdel Aal refused to disclose the total dues owed to Egyptian companies, saying only that they are more than tens of millions of dollars.
He added that ETAA has been working to resolve the problems between Egyptian and foreign companies, encouraging members of the association to stop dealing with troubled companies until dues are paid.
Poland had issued travel warnings against Egypt in the end of June, following the terrorist attacks in Cairo. The Polish government boosted the travel warning to the third level, which makes it more difficult for Polish tourists to come to Egypt as insurance companies become more reluctant to provide them with insurance.
Italy, on the other hand, only called on its citizens to take precautions when visiting Egypt, especially in crowded areas, after the Italian consulate bombing in July.