Thu, 23 Jul 2020 - 10:36 GMT
Saint Catherine Protected area - CC Wikimedia
CAIRO – 20 July 2020: As part of the country’s strategy to encourage tourists flow after a long hiatus due to coronavirus, Egypt has reduced the entrance fees for all natural reserves in South Sinai and Red Sea by 50 percent.
The discount will be applied on all individual trips, as well as daily cruises.
In a statement by the Ministry of Environment, Minister Yasmine Fouad ensured that this decision comes in light of the state’s tendency to take a package of incentive measures to restore the movement of environment tourism.
The ministry has also set guidelines for workers in the tourism sector to adhere to the precautionary measures as part of the plan to coexist with the virus, in addition to a bundle of rules set to ensure safe disposal of plastic and medical waste.
Minister Yasmine Fouad said that the decision also includes organizing Safari trips, where it offers a collective fee per person for the whole safari trip in South Sinai and Red Sea reserves.
Below are some of the natural protectorates in South Sinai and Red Sea:
1- Ras Mohamed Protected Area in South Sinai Governorate.
2- Elba Natural Protected Area in the Red Sea Governorate
3- Saint Katherine Protected Area in South Sinai
4- Nabq Protected Area in South Sinai Governorate
5- Abu Gallum Protected Area in South Sinai Governorate
6- Taba Protected Area in South Sinai Governorate
7- Red Sea Northern Islands
Applying fees on natural reserves
In August 2019, the Official Gazette published a decision by the Ministry of Environment to regulate the management of natural reserves, most notably the application of the environmental permits system for economic activities practiced in natural reserves.
The decisions aimed at regulating the use of the natural resources of these reserves, such as the picturesque beaches, and at generalizing the visit fee system in natural reserves, which are witnessing intensive trips and visits.
Decision No. 204 of 2019 of the Ministry of Environment stipulated the collection of a fee of $5 per foreign person for daily visits, from sunrise to evening; children under seven are exempted. The entry fee for a small car accompanied by a foreigner is $5, and for a big car is $10. The fee is doubled in the evening and is fixed at LE 25 for Egyptians.
The Natural Reserves sector in the Ministry of Environment is scheduled to start collecting the new fees of entry or activities in the Red Sea and South Sinai reserves, in addition to imposing fees on diving yachts, starting from $10 to $60 for yachts with a length of more than 30 meters.
About 8 million visitors go to protectorates in Egypt on a yearly basis, meaning that if these protectorates are developed, they will pose as a great business opportunity for the country, pushing it forwards even more towards a healthy economy.
Dr. Essam Saadallah, director of Nature Reserves in Sinai, previously stated to Egypt Today that the Ministry of Environment allocated LE 3 million to replacements and renovations, and improving services and securing reserves.
In 2018, Ahmed Salama, head of Nature Protection Sector, Ministry of Environment, said that the ministry is almost done developing nine out of 30 protectorates in Egypt.
Additional reporting by Lolowa Reda