Egypt delays cuts in fuel subsidies to tourism sector

Ahram Online, Friday 8 Feb 2013

The plans to cut diesel subsidies to hotels and resorts were postponed due to the current challenges facing the sector

Intercontinental Hotel
Pro and anti- government protesters clash in front of the Semiramis Intercontinental hotel, background left, near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt’s government will delay cuts in diesel subsidies for the tourism sector, which had been due to start in May, due to the current instability faced by tourism in Egypt, state daily newspaper Al-Ahram reported on Friday, citing Minster of Petroleum Osama Kamal.

The minster said that the tourism sector has witnessed consecutive hits, the latest of which was an attack by a number of thugs on the Semiramis Intercontinental hotel in Cairo during clashes between protesters and security forces in nearby Tahrir Square.

Over the last few weeks, foreign governments have been advising their nationals to exercise increasing caution when travelling to Egypt, and to avoid large crowds and demonstrations.

Many hotels and resorts in Egypt depend on diesel fuel to generate electricity, and when the government decided to increase prices, hotel owners complained.

Kamal went on to point out that the government seeks to outmanoeuvre diesel smugglers who sell the fuel outside the country, saying that curbing fuel smuggling would save roughly LE10 billion ($1.5 billion).

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