Feb 25 2013

Egypt c.bank reviewing methods to buoy up tourism sector

By Mohamed El Agamy Egypt c.bank reviewing methods to buoy up tourism sector Photo Credit:REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) is considering new mechanisms to encourage tourism companies operating in Egypt and to develop the tourism sector, the bank's governor told Zawya.

"Current priorities are to boost the Egyptian economy and face the foreign currency reserve shortage. Reviving the tourism sector will be the biggest stimulus for the Egyptian economy in the coming period," said Hisham Ramez, governor, CBE.

Ramez pointed out that the mechanisms for encouraging tourism companies are yet to be established, and are to be announced before the end of February 2013.

Alaa Samaha, former managing director and CEO of BLOM Bank Egypt, confirmed that the tourism sector is capable of putting an end to Egypt's current financial crisis. "It can also face the foreign currency reserve shortage. In fact, the tourism sector is the fastest generator of foreign currencies and can provide several employment opportunities in Egypt," said Samaha.

"Political stability and security are the two key drivers for attracting tourists to Egypt, calling for a national consensus to overcome Egypt's crisis," he added.

According to the CBE's latest figures, tourism revenues declined by 2% to reach USD 2.6 billion in the first quarter of 2012/2013 fiscal year, compared to USD 2.7 billion during the same period of 2011/2012.

© Zawya 2013

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