The Ministry of Transportation called for six floating hotels to be lifted onto the shore for review, causing them to suspend their cruises south of the High Dam in Lake Nasser, according to an official at the Egyptian Hotels Association.
The official told Daily News Egypt that the hotels will be reviewed by a company assigned by the Ministry of Transportation over the course of five to six months.
Moreover, each hotel needs approximately EGP 5m for lifting and review to ensure navigational safety.
Previously, the safety of river hotels had been reviewed by academics from the universities of Alexandria and Port Said. However, the Ministry of Transportation has contracted a company to carry out that task. It was better to conduct the review via divers under these hotels to ensure their safety and to save time, the official said.
He added that the issue does not just lie in investors not having the required money at the moment. Foreign companies had offered to book rooms in these six hotels for the coming winter season, but the ministry’s decision delayed these bookings until the middle of next year, which exacerbates losses.
There are about 286 floating hotels on the Nile river, over 95% of which are currently closed, according to deputy chairperson of the Floating Hotels Investors Association Abdel Rahman Al-Anwar.
He added that floating hotels have lost more than $4bn over the past five years due to the decline in tourism flow in southern Egypt.
Member of the Egyptian Travel Agents Association in South Valley, Tharwat El-Agami, said that no more than 11 out of 286 floating hotels are currently operating.