File - Samih Sawiris Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Orascom Development Holding
CAIRO – 12 April 2020: Hotels must be gradually operated and opened again, businessman and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Orascom Development Egypt (ORHD) Samih Sawiris, noting that this step should be taken amid precautionary measures.
The businessman expected that the Egyptian tourism to return to its strength again during the months of October and November 2020, advising that need to catch up with the coming winter season, hotels should be opened gradually, and not to wait until the end of the summer to start opening the hotels.
Sawiris, during a TV interview through phone, that the operation of hotels will save workers from starvation, saying: "The lower classes cannot bear unemployment."
He clarified that the length of the closing period during the coming months may cause a problem for the workers.
Businessman thanked that state for supporting the irregular workers but he stated that the government could not bear to support all workers for a longer period of time, and that the steps to re-open of hotels should be evaluated, and then a decision to expand or cease to be taken.
Sawiris suggested that, during the coming period, social insurance pay a grant ranging from LE 500 to LE 600 for workers to support them from the repercussions of the Corona virus that is spreading throughout the country.
He explained that this "encourages workers and companies to turn to social insurance."
Meanwhile, Orascom Development Egypt (ORHD) announced undertaking several precautionary measures in light of the current global circumstances and economic downturn.
The company clarified in a statement that the purpose of these measures is to reduce spending and preserve cash to the longest period possible to ensure stability of the Group’s destinations, in order to enable the destinations to resume their operations and planned investments once the business is back to meet the Group’s planned strategic and financial targets.
According to the statement, these measures and initiatives include reduction in capex to keep only the necessary committed items, postponement and freezing of new hires, reduction in all expenses to the minimum required and reduction in all marketing expenses across all destinations, and postponement of some of the governments’ dues where possible to reflect governments’ initiatives to support companies.
In addition, the company decided to postpone debt service in Egypt for 6 months as per the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) decrees, and studying how to benefit from the CBE’s initiative to support the tourism companies.