The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has announced on December 15 an extensive financing plan to boost the tourism sector with EGP 50 bn instead of EGP 5 bn, state-owned Ahram Online reports.

According to the CBE, the plan comprises freeing the companies from paying compound interest if they joined the market before 2011, while waiving part of their debts and helping renovate hotels. The move also includes renewal and extension of the current tourism initiative to 31 December 2020,

This came during a meeting South Sinai governor Khaled Fouda arranged on December 14 in Sharm El-Sheikh between CBE Governor Tarek Amer, his deputy Gamal Negm, and representatives from the banking sector, tourism associations, investors, and hotel owners.

Amer noted that the initiative comes as a response to President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s directives to spur the tourism sector as a major source of income, job opportunities, and nourishment for other industries.

The initiative also involves exempting travel companies, including those in Taba, Nuweiba, and Saint Catherine cities in South Sinai, from marginal benefits and 50% of debts.