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Egypt's tourism sector to incur $1bn monthly losses on flight suspension

Egypt's tourism sector to incur $1bn monthly losses on flight suspension
Experts call for delaying due payments to the government

By: Mohamed Mowafy

Cairo – Mubasher: The Egyptian tourism sector is expected to incur losses of up to $1 billion monthly due to the suspension of all flights, experts said.

The government decided to halt all flights from Thursday, 19 March, until the end of March in a bid to curb the spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19).

Hesham El-Shaer, head of floating hotels department at the Chamber of Tourism Establishments, told Mubasher that the suspension decision would weigh heavily on the tourism sector which finally recovered in 2019.

Losses might exceed $1 billion each month, he pointed out, noting that tourism facilities would not be able to pay its tax dues, utility bills, and employee wages. Some facilities might cut jobs, he warned.

Wahid Assem, board member at the Federation of Tourism Chambers, said that he has submitted a memorandum to the minister of tourism Khaled Anany to grant tourism facilities a grace period to pay government dues.

It is noteworthy that during fiscal year 2018/2019, Egypt’s tourism revenues surged by $2.7 billion to $12.57 billion from $9.804 billion a year earlier.