New surprises are being prepared for Russian tourists in Egypt regarding their money

New surprises are being prepared for Russian tourists in Egypt regarding their money

Egyptian tourist circles are actively commenting on the news that the Russian Central Bank has introduced the Egyptian pound to the list of official currencies to be quoted by the bank. And although opinions are divided about the benefits of this step for tourism, Egypt is counting on a reciprocal step by its Central Bank and it seems that new surprises are being prepared for Russian tourists regarding their money and the Russian ruble. The lack of Russian tourists and the fact that, due to problems with currency exchange and sanctions against Russian cards, they began to spend significantly less, the Egyptian tourism industry is seriously concerned. So the solution to the issue of mutual conversion of the ruble/pound, at least to make it easier for Russian tour operators to pay for hotel services, as well as the issue with MIR cards, is considered extremely relevant in Egypt.

Recall that the Central Bank of Russia has set for tourists the official exchange rates of “friendly countries” – primarily tourist, such as Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Thailand. Since Wednesday, January 18, the Bank of Russia has set the ruble exchange rate not only against the dollar, the euro and the yuan, but also against nine other foreign currencies – mainly countries of mass tourist destinations. Among them was the Egyptian pound. Read the details in this article. As commented in the Egyptian media, the principle of reciprocity in any case will accelerate the introduction of settlements in Russian rubles in Egyptian banks. At the same time, some experts believe that the benefits for tourism from the decision will be insignificant, while others suggest that Egypt will significantly benefit from the growth of Russian tourism with the introduction of the ruble in trade.

Rami Fayez, a member of the Red Sea Hotel Chamber, for example, noted that the decision would benefit the commercial sector and the balance of payments between the two countries more than the tourism sector. However, he also stressed that if the Egyptian central bank decides to accept the Russian ruble as the currency of circulation, the number of Russian tourists arriving in the Red Sea and South Sinai provinces, especially Hurghada, Marsa Alam and Sharm el-Sheikh, could increase significantly and in the coming months as Russian travel companies will increase their trips to Egypt almost immediately.

However, the expert considers another task related to finance to be more relevant. According to him, investors in the Egyptian tourism sector are waiting for the activation of the Russian Mir system, which has not yet been officially approved. “The method of payment seriously regulates the influx of Russian tourists to Egypt. While we are working with a payment system in euros or dollars, there are some difficulties between Russia and Egypt. We very much hope that sooner or later the MIR system and operations with the Russian ruble in Egyptian banks and resorts will come into force on the basis of the principle of reciprocity between Russia and Egypt,” Mr. Fayez emphasized.

Another expert, Sameh Abdel Moneim, a spokesman for the hotel business, also said the decision “will have an important positive and supportive impact on inbound tourism from Russia.” “The solution to the “ruble and pound” problem will make it easier for a Russian tourist, since the ruble is available to him, unlike the dollar, and Russian credit cards deal only with the Russian ruble. In addition, this step will reduce the need for dollars at the present time,” the expert noted. He agreed that
Investors and tourism experts are looking forward to the introduction of new mechanisms that allow Russian tourists to pay for travel and hotel services in Russian rubles instead of dollars. “This measure will double the growth of tourism from Russia, but requires the early release of enforcement procedures from the Central Bank so that it can trade the ruble against the pound already during the current winter season,” the expert added. Tourism investors also praised the government's decision to pay Russian tourists in rubles rather than dollars before it is approved by the Central Bank, stressing that this would be in the interests of the tourism sector, on the one hand, and significantly boost the economy, on the other. on the other hand.

“The implementation of the decision should begin in the coming days, as announced by the government. The Russian ruble will be included in the list of currencies used by banks, and later the Central Bank, in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance, intends to provide banks with access to the Russian Mir payment card system. The adoption of this decision coincides with the increase in tourism contracts between hotels and Egyptian travel companies with their Russian counterparts and foreign tour operators, which will increase the opportunities for the revival of Russian tourism in Egypt and increase these contracts during the upcoming tourist seasons,” the experts added optimistically.

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