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CBE looks for ways to help tourism recover

Held via video conference, Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait and Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled Al-Anani were in attendance

By: Business Today Egypt

Wed, Jan. 13, 2021

Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Governor, Tarek Amer, held a recent high-level ministerial meeting to discuss methods of supporting the tourism sector during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Held via video conference, Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait and Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled Al-Anani, as well as the CBE’s Deputy Governor were in attendance.

Chairperson of the Egyptian Federation of Tourist Chambers, the head of the Chambers of Hotel Establishment, several heads of travel and tourism companies and agencies, as well as a number of bank leaders and some tourism investors were also present.

Discussed during the meeting were mechanisms to support Egypt’s tourism sector against the pandemic’s effects, as the tourism sector is one of the more important contributors to the national economy, as well as methods to overcome obstacles facing investors.

Amer and ministers reviewed problems that investors encounter in obtaining credit facilities as part of the CBE’s initiative to support the tourism sector.

This support has provided an amount of EGP 3bn in the form of loans to the sector, at a 5 percent return, through which salaries, with operations and renovations costs financed with loans with a return rate of 8 percent. This includes funding suppliers’ salaries and liabilities.

Al-Anani highlighted the government’s eagerness to support the country’s tourism sector and its workers. It also aims to stabilize their conditions, noting that protecting the sector’s workers and their rights were a top priority for the Ministry of Tourism, especially with the on-going pandemic.

The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced early December its extension of facilities for the tourism sector and its workers for six months amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, extending the grace period to the end of 2021. Egypt’s tourism revenues dropped by US 2.7 billion in the 2019/2020 fiscal year, at a total of US 9.9 billion, according to an earlier CBE report.