Egypt’s hotels to operate at full capacity for first time since start of pandemic

Assistant Tourism Minister Abdel Fattah Al-Assi said the government was allowing hotels to operate at full capacity while obliging them to follow strict precautionary measures

  
Tourists walk through the entrance of the Marriott Hotel in Cairo, Egypt January 16, 2020.

Tourists walk through the entrance of the Marriott Hotel in Cairo, Egypt January 16, 2020.

REUTERS/Marius Bosch
CAIRO: Egypt’s hotels will be allowed to operate at full capacity, the government has said, ending a previous restriction that capped it at 70 percent as part of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.

It is the first time they will run at full capacity without operating restrictions since March 2020.

Assistant Tourism Minister Abdel Fattah Al-Assi said the government was allowing hotels to operate at full capacity while obliging them to follow strict precautionary measures.

Hotels have been operating at 70 percent capacity since July.

They were banned from operating at the start of the pandemic until some health and safety standards were met.

Those hotels that met the standards and obtained certificates were only allowed to operate at a quarter of their capacity, before the government raised that to 50 percent in late June.

The decision comes as the tourism sector begins to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

According to a report from the Egyptian Association for Tourism and Archaeological Development, the country’s recreational destinations are on the road to recovery. These include popular resorts such as Hurghada, Marsa Alam and Sharm El-Sheikh and cultural sites in Luxor and Aswan.

Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled Al-Anani said earlier: “The Egyptian tourist destination is a safe destination and is unique in its excellence throughout the year and in its unparalleled tourist and archaeological components.”

He said the country was working to enhance these tourism and archaeological components by creating a new integrated product that would allow tourists to have a unique and distinctive tourism experience and give them an opportunity to enjoy different tourist patterns during their visit to Egypt.

Tourism revenue reached $4 billion in 2020, down from $13.03 billion in 2019.

About 3.5 million tourists visited the country during the first six months of this year, the same number of people who visited Egypt for the whole of last year.

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