(Ecofin Agency) - The Egyptian Minister of Finance, Mohamed Ma'it, announced on Monday 11 May that the government is going to issue EGP3 billion (about $190 million) in guarantees to the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), in favor of national banks. The aim is to facilitate loans to Egyptian tourist and hotel establishments to pay the salaries of tourism workers.
According to the Minister, the loans will be repaid in monthly installments, over a period of 2 years, to cover the salaries of the employees of tourist and hotel establishments, and the basic operational needs which do not exceed 15% of the value of the loan granted to the establishment.
Also, tourism and hotel firms will provide the lending banks with statements of employees' names and bank accounts so that salaries can be transferred directly from the bank to the employee.
A committee made up of the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank, the Ministry of Tourism and the lending banks has been formed to monitor the implementation of this initiative, Mohamed Ma'it explained.
According to data from the Central Bank of Egypt, the country's tourism revenues amounted to $13.03 billion in 2019 for about 13.1 million registered tourists, up 1.8 million tourists compared to 2018 (11.3 million).
The tourism sector accounts for about 11.9% of Egypt's GDP and generates about 2.48 million jobs, or 9.5% of the country's active population, according to World Travel & Tourism Council statistics for 2018.