Nov 02, 2021by Sophie Griffiths
Egypt is prioritizing health and safety as the country reopens its doors to tourists after its borders were closed during the pandemic.
The country started welcoming international tourists to the country from July. However, speaking at WTM London, Egypt’s Tourism and Antiquities Minister Khaled el-Enani said there were more than 1,200 hotels in Egypt, but around 870 had been allowed to reopen.
“These are the only properties that we have authorized to take back and to which we have awarded our sanitary safety certificate.”
El-Enani added that “all hotels that do not comply with our hygiene certificate are closed on the same day,” while he said masks were mandatory and all hotel staff should be vaccinated.
The number of international tourists visiting the country has doubled in the past two months, which El-Enani said is a testament to other countries’ confidence in Egypt’s security.
Meanwhile, he said Egypt has a strict policy for any tourist who becomes ill with Covid while on vacation in the country. “If a tourist shows symptoms, his hotel should notify the Ministry of Health. If the weather is mild, they can stay at the hotel and all costs will be covered.
“If the patient has to be transferred to the hospital, all expenses will again be paid by the government.”
Elsewhere, El-Enani unveiled a new flight schedule, connecting Sharm el-Sheikh to Luxor in 50 minutes, allowing tourists to take day trips to see the Valley of the Kings. He added that there was currently one theft per week, but was confident it would soon be increased.
Elsewhere, sustainability and ecotourism remain one of the country’s key strategies.
Environmentalist Mohammed Elewa also spoke at the press conference, who said “not going green” was “just no longer an option, especially for Egypt”.
“About 80% of our international tourists come to the Red Sea. We have over 325 kinds of coral reefs, over 1000 kinds of fish and over 500 kinds of birds.
“We see sustainability as an opportunity rather than a threat,” he added.