Dozens of hotel and tourist villages owners in Marsa Alam are now facing a crisis as the coronavirus pandemic has halted foreign tourist flights and local demand is minimal due to the high costs of domestic flights.
The Marsa Alam Tourism Investors Association reported that 95 percent of the city’s hotels have shut down, with only four out of 72 hotels and tourist villages are currently operating.
Workers in the industry are calling on the government to support the city’s tourism sector so that investments can continue.
And investors have complained of other issues impacting the city’s tourism, such as the fees and requirements imposed on licenses and the multiplicity of control authorities including environment, electricity and shores, which hampers repainting sunshades on beaches without approval by the shore protection authority.
They called on state agencies to stand by the resort city, granting them more facilities and exemptions from government dues or postponing them without interest so that they can continue their work.
A member of the Board of Directors of Marsa Alam Tourism Investors Association Atef Abdullatif said that a host of problems are plaguing Marsa Alam’s tourism sector, including electricity costs, expensive domestic flights and the failure of Marsa Alam hotels to get their financial dues with tourism companies.
Abdullatif called for the government to support the city by providing the necessary funds from banks in accordance with tourism initiatives while facilitating requirements so that hotels can complete the replacement and renewal processes to finalize hotels under the coronavirus.
Among the most important demands of Marsa Alam investors, which were submitted to the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled al-Anany, was to reduce the value of the domestic flight ticket proposed by the Ministry of Aviation to LE 2,100 for Marsa Alam and return.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm