The Egyptian Travel Agents Association (ETTA) extended the deadline for banks’ complaints until Tuesday, in order to submit them to the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE).
An official in ETTA told Daily News Egypt that the reason behind extending the deadline for complaints is to submit most of them to Tarek Amer, governor of the CBE. Amer would then check and resolve them.
ETTA asked its members at the beginning of June to send in complaints regarding the challenges they are facing.
According to the official, not all banks are committed to supporting the tourism sector by providing companies with operating loans.
He singled out the National Bank of Egypt, which has supported the sector with operating loans since the revolution.
Operating loans range between EGP 1m and 5m, the official said, noting that Sharm El-Sheikh had acquired most of these loans.
The total hotel capacity in South Sinai stands at 64,000 rooms, while it amounts to 65,000 in the Red Sea region. The capacity in Cairo is limited to 30,000 rooms.
Egypt’s tourism has witnessed a drop, as only 9.3m tourists visited the country in the last year, compared to 10m a year earlier. Tourism was affected by the fall of the Russian airliner in Sinai last October, which led Moscow to halt its flights to Egypt, while London stopped flying to Sharm El-Sheikh.
Britain and Russia account for about 45% of inbound tourism to Egypt.
Abdulrahman Al-Amour, a member of the Egyptian Hotel Association, said that the support of the banking sector is direly needed, as the tourism sector is on the verge of collapsing.
According to the Sub-Accounts Unit of the Ministry of Tourism, the tourism sector provides 3.5m direct and indirect jobs.
The sector also secures about one sixth of the hard currency proceeds to the country, according to the ministry.
The Central Bank of Egypt had earlier postponed payment of the sector’s dues for three years.