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Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Tourism Ministry abandons plan to stipulate minimum rates for hotels.

The Tourism Ministry appears to have abandoned plans to set a minimum charge of per night for hotel rooms in Egypt after it was rejected by the Ismail Cabinet. Ministers refused the proposal after studies suggested no other nation has a similar policy, Deputy Tourism Minister Adela Ragab tells Al Mal. The committee mandated with the task had recommended imposing a minimum charge of USD 110 per night on five-star hotels in Cairo, while five-star hotels in Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, Alexandria, and Luxor charge guests USD 35 per person for an all-inclusive stay. The committee had also recommended a minimum charge of USD 25 a night for four-star hotels and USD 20 for three-star hotels across the country.

Nonetheless the Egyptian Competition Authority (ECA) wants the industry to be mindful of larger players undercutting smaller operators. Outgoing ECA boss Mona El Garf said that while setting a minimum charge for hotels is antithetical to a market economy, she warned against undercutting prices, which could help foster monopolies by favouring deep-pocketed players. The ECA will meet with Tourism Ministry officials to discuss antitrust strategies and policies which will implemented sector-wide on Wednesday, El Garf tells Al Borsa.

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