The Board of the Emergency Fund Subsidies in the Ministry of Manpower has agreed to offer financial subsidies to workers in tourism establishments proven to be worthy, according to an official in the Egyptian Tourism Federation (ETF) of the Chambers of Tourism.
These subsidies aim to repay the wages of workers in hotels, restaurants, agencies, or companies that have suffered losses and are unable to pay the wages of their own employees due to the decline in tourism.
After 25 January 2011, the fund offered financial subsidies worth EGP 50m to hotel establishments. However, the fund stopped the provision of these funds over the past five years.
Since 2011, there has been a decline in inbound tourism; the tourism income dropped from $12.5bn in 2010, to $6.9bn in 2015.
Abdel Rahman Al-Anwar, vice chairperson of the Floating Hotels Investors Association, said that more than 270 floating hotels have stopped working over the past five years. This has resulted in losses to owner companies of the hotels and some of their workers being laid off.
Floating hotels has suffered great losses throughout the past period, Al-Anwar said, as most European companies have suspended their flights to Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan due to the political and security instabilities in the past five years.
According to the sub-accounts units in the Tourism Ministry, the number of workers in the sector is 3.5 million, of whom 1.7 million are working directly and the rest indirectly.
An official in the Tourism Ministry told Daily News Egypt that most trained workers in hotels have been laid off over the past two years. This is expected to have a negative impact in the upcoming period.
Training programmes have stopped and the Tourism Ministry has ceased providing financial support to these kinds of programmes due to the lack of the resources, the official said.
The total number of workers in the hotels sector was 800,000 in 2010. However, more than 600,000 were laid off in the aftermath of the Russian plane crash in Sinai in October in 2015.
The ETF has asked its members to submit requests to the Chamber of Tourism Companies in order to obtain financial support.
The official in the ETF added that the required documentation to obtain financial support should include a copy of the establishments’ certified financial lists.
Workers in the establishment must have their information in an excel sheet saved on a CD as part of the requirements to obtain financial support.
The chairperson of the establishment must not use the subsidies for purposes other than those specified; otherwise he or she will be subject to legal accountability. There must also be an approved authorisation from the Chamber of Tourism Companies to provide the subsidies.
The ETF reviews the data and provides the fund with data about the establishments deemed worthy of the subsidies, according to the official.
He added that that some of the conditions specified by the fund stipulate that establishments which achieve a surplus or profit have no right to obtain the subsidiary, as well as establishments that are sued, until a court ruling is made.