Mr. Mohamed Ayoub, Chairman of The Egyptian Hotel Association (EHA) declared the importance of Vladimir Putin’s recent visit in positively affecting Russian tourism in Egypt which had decreased due to the decrease of the ruble’s purchase power. He stressed that the recent declarations made by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and his Russian counterpart were very promising for a brighter future and call for optimism.
In a meeting with EHA’s Board of Directors, Mr. Ayoub emphasized the importance of the Russian market as the biggest market for tourism in Egypt with an approximate 3 million Russian tourists visiting Egypt annually. He also made a preliminary plan for the operation of the Board during the current term. This focused on the most crucial issues to be addressed by the Board in coordination with concerned parties. This included the method of calculating the real estate taxation applied to hotels. Mr. Ayoub explained that hotels have always been compliant with paying taxes prior to the issuance of the new law. He added that hotels still remain compliant and ready to pay taxes according to the new legislation provided that the calculations used are agreed upon and fair to all parties. Hotels also require a grace period that allows them to reflect such increases on their pricing system.
The Board’s plan of action also included the revision of the new labor law to ensure it provides the best benefits to the employees and owners of tourism establishments alike. This needs to secure higher productivity and the use of reward and punishment for the employee with the emphasis of this being the most efficient criteria which needs to be concentrated on by both employees and owners. Mr. Ayoub stressed that the tourism industry is part of the service economy which relies primarily on employees. This makes employees partners in success and, God forbids, failure of the establishment for which they work.
Also included in the plan are the subjects of training, security and the new norms (NN). This is viewed by EHA’s Chairman as the most vital component which would determine the ability of raising the price for Egyptian tourism products. Such prices had sharply decreased as a result of the decline in demand after the January 25th. revolution.
Another important issue is that of the coordination with the Ministry of Tourism for finding resources for cost effective alternative energy and the needed financing for hotels to switch to it. It is worth noting that EHA is going to finance a 400 room hotel for the switch to alternative energy. This is meant to be a guiding experiment to test the actual cost reduction as well as pros and cons of switching to alternative energy.
Finally, as the Board has been established and all its branches and committees approved, its first meeting is going to be held on the 25th. of February. Meanwhile, all boards of the branches will be finalized in the coming few days in order to approve the names during the meeting.
For further inquiries, please contact the Egyptian Hotels Association
Ms. Nevine Victor