The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has praised Egypt’s preventative measures in combatting the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Writing on its official Twitter page, the organisation applauded the country’s commitment to global health standards.
The UNWTO also praised the initiative launched on Monday evening by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities that saw the Giza Pyramids lit up in solidarity with frontline healthcare. The pyramids, an important resource in Egypt’s tourism industry, were illuminated in red as thanks to medical staff. The message included instructions for citizens to ‘stay home’ to stop the spread of the disease.
Egypt has taken several measures in the past week to cushion repercussions on the country’s tourism sector which are likely to occur due to the coronavirus. These include the postponement of real estate tax on tourism facilities for three months, and which can also paid in installments. The move comes in addition to the lifting of administrative reservations for all financiers who have payable tax, of which they can pay only 10% of tax owed to them.
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) announced, Tuesday, that it is to grant tourism establishments two year loans and a six-month grace period in which to pay salaries. The decision will also allow for tourism establishments to meet their obligations towards suppliers and maintenance work.
Further efforts, including the indefinite postponement of tourist ship licensing fees payments and the allocation of a hotline for tourism sector workers to report arbitrary dismissals, have been taken to stem the effects of the coronavirus crisis.