By Abdel Raziq El-Sheweikhy
Minister of Tourism, Hesham Zazou, has called on the Tourism Development Authority (TDA) to expedite its procedures for allocating lands for hotel and recreational development, starting with appraising the value of the lands to be offered.
Major General Tarek Saad El-Din, head of the TDA, said that the authority plans on visiting areas in which land would be made available to investors starting October. The areas include the Sinai peninsula, the Red Sea coast, Ain Sukhna, and Marsa Alam.
The TDA plans to make 28 million square metres of land available to local and international tourism investors. The land will be made available based on the “determined use” system whereby the government first determines the purposes for which investors may use the land.
The TDA has created a set of rules by which the authority would appraise and determine the land. The rules include stipulations that the land be close to existing built-up residential and tourist areas and that the land be easily connectable to the network of roads, airports, and ports. The rules also held that the land should be easily connected to existing water, electricity, and sewage networks.
The TDA is also taking account of topography of the land and its environmental sensitivity in its appraisals.
The rules determine the possible uses of the land that will be made available to investors and will work to diversify hotel offerings.
The TDA will also take into account a number of other factors in its appraisals, including the current rates of tourism in the area, the area’s ability to absorb more investments, the volume of tourist facilities that are operating or still under construction, and the prevailing price level.
The rules also determine the scale of tourism develop on the land, with some areas designated for large projects between 500,000 and several million square metres, to smaller, more limited projects.
The rules stipulate that investors will be graded on a ten-point scale based on the success of the tourism development projects.