Sharm private sector may delay bill payment for 3 months
Minister of Toursim Hesham Zaazou - YOUM7
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CAIRO: The private sector in Sharm el-Sheikh will be allowed to postpone the payment of government bills for three months, Minister of Toursim Hesham Zaazou told al-Youm channel Wednesday.

The bills include electricity, taxes and social insurance bills as means to support the private sector in the Red Sea resort as the Russian plane crash and suspension of some flights coming to Egypt are expected to damage the income of the resort city.

Incoming Governor of the Central Bank Tarek Amer and bank personalities are also scheduled to visit Sharm el-Sheikh to restructure the debts of the private sector, with a possibility to finance essential needs of some hotels and Egyptian tourist companies, according to Zaazou.

Egypt stands to lose 6.6 billion EGP ($840 million) under the scenario that Russia and Britain continue to suspend flights to the Sinai Peninsula for three months, the minister said Wednesday.

As part of Egypt’s efforts to promote tourism in the area, Egypt Air will launch flights to Sharm el-Sheikh at reduced prices from Nov. 14 to mid-December as part of Egyptian efforts to undo the damage of the Russian place crash to tourism in the country, Minister of Civil Aviation Hossam Kamal said at a Cabinet meeting Wednesday.

On Nov. 7, Minister of Transportation Saa’d al-Geyoushi reduced ticket prices of super jets travelling to Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada to promote domestic tourism.

The Cabinet approved a budget of no less than $5 million from the Tourism Fund to execute a public relations campaign to improve the image of Sharm el-Sheikh after the crash.

The tourism sector is one of Egypt’s most important sources of income and foreign currency. Thousands of Egyptians depend on tourist-related jobs, a field that has already struggled since the January 25 Revolution in Egypt. Red Sea resorts, however, continued to yield profits after the 2011 uprisings.

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