Official data from the Ukrainian embassy in Cairo indicated that a total of 20,000 Ukrainian tourists are currently stranded in Egypt, while Russian tourists and workers in Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh, according to the Russian Consulate in Hurghada, is about 37,000, totaling about 57,000 stranded tourists.
This implies that Egypt’s Tourism Fund offers $570,000 per day, besides the costs that the owners of hotels hosting the stranded tourists will contend with.
The Egyptian government announced the hosting of Ukrainian and Russian tourists whose tourism trips ended in Egypt and were unable to return to their country due to the outbreak of war in Ukraine.
In Circular No. 45 of 2022 issued to all hotels in South Sinai and the Red Sea governorates, the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism stipulates that the Tourism Fund of the Ministry of Tourism will share part of the costs of Ukrainian tourists.
This also includes accommodation in hotels and the guest will not be charged with any additional fees for their stay.
However, a number of tourism experts say that so far there are no signs that this war will end anytime soon.
Thus far, no European country has welcomed the Ukrainian embassy in Cairo’s request to transfer the stranded tourists in Egypt to their countries.
Pundits stressed the need for international institutions like the EU, international insurance companies and international donors to urgently assist Egypt with the aid package it provides to Ukraine’s neighboring countries.
Experts have warned that hotels hosting tourists will not be able to withstand the situation for a long time.
The Tourism Fund’s contribution of ten dollars a day per tourist will not cover the price of one meal and a drink in light of the terrible rise in food prices that the world is witnessing.
Moataz Sedky, Vice Chairman of the Tourism Committee at the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt said the Tourism Fund’s contribution of ten dollars per day for each tourist is absolutely insufficient.
International insurance companies that brought these stranded tourists have concluded should also play its role, Sedky added.
According to international law: no tourist in the world is allowed to board a plane or any other means of transportation to any tourist destination without travel insurance.
Such travel insurance covers against disasters, whether it is wars, floods, accidents or diseases. It even covers the loss of luggage and belongings during the trip.
The average cost of a tourist’s stay per day is between $50 and $70 a day while the Tourism Ministry’s fund only pays $10.
The total number of Ukrainian tourists in Egypt is currently about 26,000, not 20,000, as stated in the letter of the Ukrainian embassy in Cairo addressed to the Foreign Ministry, Mostafa Khalil, a member of the Egyptian Travel Agents Association, said.
The EU which provided Ukraine with 1.2 billion euros must extend its support to these stranded Ukrainian citizens, he added.
Khalil suggested that Egypt bears 50 percent of the cost of their stay, at $35 a day per tourist, and the EU bears the rest.
The Egyptian Tourism Fund affiliated to the Ministry of Tourism will not be able to pay $910,000 daily, which in the first month will reach about $27.3 million, he said.
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