The Egyptian government is seeking to provide more incentives to help the tourism and aviation sectors, which have been severely affected by the novel coronavirus outbreak.
In a meeting on Tuesday, the ministers of petroleum and mineral resources, antiquities and tourism, and civil aviation discussed means to support the two sectors.
The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has revealed that Egypt’s tourism sector saw a remarkable 21 percent growth in 2019, with more than 13.5 million tourists. However, the pandemic and the suspension of international flights and lockdown measures have affected the sector.
The country’s monthly losses due to the absence of tourists are estimated at EGP26.3 billion ($1.5 billion), according to a report by the cabinet’s information center.
In July, Cairo decided to gradually reopen some of its resorts and tourism sites, in an attempt to revive the sector, which represents almost 15 percent of the economy. Yet, the returns are still less than expected amid fears of a second wave of coronavirus.
In Tuesday’s meeting, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek al-Mulla said the country seeks to provide constant support to the tourism sector to maintain Egypt’s position on the global tourism map.
He pointed out that the tourism and aviation sectors are among the vital economic sectors that have been directly affected by the pandemic.
The three ministers tackled new proposals and initiatives to support the flight incentive program for Egyptian tourist destinations.
The Petroleum Ministry has earlier proposed to further reduce the price of aviation fuel to support the tourism sector. The total value of the reduction has amounted to 10 cents per gallon for tourist destinations to the Red Sea, South Sinai, Luxor and Aswan and was applied in early May.
Egypt has topped Forbes’ “Where to Go Next” list, in which the world-renowned magazine recommended 27 countries for adventure-loving readers to visit in 2020.
Coronavirus infection rates are still low in Egypt compared to Europe and neighboring countries.
The Health Ministry announced on Monday 354 new cases and 12 deaths.
The tally has reached to 113,381 cases, including 101,981 recoveries and 6,560 deaths.