The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE), in cooperation with the finance ministry, will provide EGP 3 bn worth of credit guarantees to the tourism sector, under the EGP 50 bn tourism support program, Invest-Gate reports.

The initiative will cover the wages of those working in hotels and tourist facilities, aiming to avert any layoffs or furloughs in light of the Coronavirus headwinds. It comes under the CBE’s total EGP 50 bn allocated for upgrading tourism infrastructure, according to a press release on June 16.

In addition, state banks can grant soft loans to tourist and hotel establishments, at 5% annual interest. Funds are guaranteed for three years, with a one-year grace period, aiming to help companies cap salaries, commitments to suppliers, and maintenance fees, in a bid to contain the current fallout, Finance Minister Mohamed Maait revealed.

Beneficiaries are allowed to use up to 15% of the loan to cover basic operations costs, Maait highlighted.

Egypt’s tourism revenues in the current fiscal year are expected to reach USD 11 bn (EGP 178 bn), instead of the earlier expected USD 16 bn (EGP 258.9 bn), amid a COVID-induced slump, Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El Saeed confirmed in mid-April.