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Wednesday, 1 March 2023

Gov’t imposes new charges on hotels + tourist companies

Hotels, tourist companies, restaurants and bazaars will have to pay additional fees into the government’s tourism support fund under a Tourism Ministry decision published in the Official Gazette yesterday.

Hotels will be charged a percentage of their room rates: Hotels will have to pay 1% of revenues made from room bookings to the ministry. The regulations set a minimum EGP 5 and a maximum EGP 50 per-night charge.

Other businesses will pay a fixed amount every year: Cafes and restaurants will pay EGP 4k to EGP 5k a year, respectively. Fees will increase by EGP 3-5k if they sell alcohol or shisha. Tourist bazaar will be charged EGP 5-10k per year depending on the area, while tourist companies will pay EGP 3-10k depending on their activity.

Not quite money for nothing: Companies will receive training services and assistance with automation and digitization, the directive says, without elaborating.

About the fund: The Tourism and Antiquities Support Fund (pdf) was created last year from the merger of three funds affiliated with the ministry. It aims to “revitalize tourism, develop services and tourist areas and conserve and restore antiquities projects.”

The private sector is apparently on board: The fees were given the blessing of the Federation of Tourist Chambers, according to the gazette.

REMEMBER The government has ambitious targets for the sector: Tourism Minister Ahmed Issa wants to pull some USD 30 bn into the sector under plans to attract as many as 30 mn tourists to the country a year by 2028. The government also wants to more than triple annual tourism revenues over the next three years to USD 30 bn a year.

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