TDA to give respites to complete faltering tourist projects
Minister of Tourism Hisham Zaazou - YOUM7/Hussien Tallal

CAIRO: Serag Al Din Sa’ad, the Executive Chairman for the Tourism Development Authority (TDA) unveiled Sunday the TDA’s approval to designate an alternate timetable for completing construction on the unfinished tourism projects, providing  that TDA will impose an additional fine worth 15 percent of the land value that was acquired by investors.

The to-be-imposed fine on the suspended projects will be compulsory, he said, adding that TDA will not exempt anyone from the fine to keep the public fund, Al-Mal business daily reported Sunday.

The granted respite will be designated for each project separately in accordance with the development in construction works, along with the financial situation for the contacting companies, he said, pointing out that the respite may be renewed again if there are delays caused by circumstances beyond the control of the investors.

Many projects have been halted as a result of the deterioration in the tourism sector after the January 25 Revolution, he said.

During the last period, Egypt has lost about U.S. $6 billion in the tourism sector as a result of the large decline in tourist flow, he said, pointing out that that, the numbers of tourism have declined by 30 percent during the first quarter of current fiscal year, leading revenue to decline greatly to U.S. $1.3 billion, the Miniter of Tourism told Haberler news website three days ago.

The returns from the tourism sector have declined greatly to U.S. $5.9billion, an approximately 41 percent decline in 2013, compared to U.S. $10 billion in the same period last year, he said.

With regards to the faltering tourist projects, Zaazou said, “There are no definite statistics on the number of these projects, but the projects were scheduled to add 240,000 rooms to accommodate tourists.”

In order to resume work on the suspended projects and boost the tourism sector, the Egyptian Tourism Federation decided to establish an investment fund worth U.S. $5 billion to complete the halted projects and to provide the needed finance for developing the tourism sector in the upcoming period, lhamy al-Zyaat, head of the Egyptian Tourism Federation told Youm7 last December.

Sovereign investment funds from Egypt and Gulf countries, along with a number of Egyptian banks, will participate at the fund, he said, pointing out that the Ministry of Tourism will participate in the fund with 30 million EGP.

The tourism sector is considered one of the vital sources for foreign currency In Egypt, Zaazou told Haberler, pointing out that it provides about 20 percent of foreign currency annually.

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