Hospitality News & Highlights | Africa and the Middle East

  • Egypt’s lenders will maintain their overall financial stability despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the country’s economy and the banking system being affected by slowing consumption and a decline in tourism revenue.
  • To protect businesses in the tourism sector amid the current coronavirus crisis, the Moroccan government has drafted a bill that would allow these companies to transform their reimbursement checks into loan receipts, proposing to customers the same or similar services.
  • The tourism sector which has taken a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the country’s top foreign exchange earners and is expected to take longer than the rest of the economy to recover which necessitates the implementation of a robust domestic tourism initiative. The sector’s best chances for survival in the short and medium-term lie in domestic tourism, according to The Economic Recovery Plan, covering the period May 2020 – December 2021.
  • Kenya’s seven largest banks in April restructured loans worth KES 176 billion (approx. USD 1.7 billion), underlining the economic fallout from the spread of the coronavirus that has hurt borrowers’ ability to repay. Early indications of the impact of the crisis on the banking sector was disclosed by the Central Bank of Kenya to the Senate Ad Hoc Committee on the Covid-19 Situation. Most of the restructured loans are in the tourism sector, which suffered from the suspension of international flights into and out of the country starting mid-March.
  • Hotels in Egypt wishing to operate again must undergo inspections conducted by one of three international companies chosen by the Egyptian Hotel Association, with the EHA having notified various hotel and tourist resorts in the Red Sea governorate. According to an EHA statement on Saturday, hotels must choose from Preverisk, Tuv Nord or Crystal to conduct inspection programs, ensuring the facility is applying international standards for food safety and health as approved by the Egyptian Cabinet.