Egypt sets new hotel criteria

As Egypt's tourism and hospitality industries continue to improve, the country's Ministry of Tourism has updated its New Hospitality Criteria (the country's hotel classification criteria).

During a press conference, Tourism Minister Rania al-Mashat said the program would encourage Egyptian hotels to achieve higher standards that match "international standards." Last November, the Ministry launched a private equity fund for improvements to the country's travel-related infrastructure, including hotels. Al-Mashat said at the time "several variables" have prevented upgrades to Egypt’s hotels for more than 12 years. 

According to Egypt Today, the new criteria will not only evaluate and classify hotels according to their infrastructure and fixed assets, but also take into account the quality of services, as well as environmental, health and hygiene standards.

Notably, a broader range of hotels and accommodations will be included in the Ministry's New Hospitality Criteria. Eco-friendly lodges, Nile cruises aboard a Dahabeya, heritage hotels, apartment hotels and environmental safari camps will now be listed, reportedly in response to increasing international demand on such hotels.

The new criteria were developed through a joint effort from the Ministry, the World Tourism Organization and the Egyptian Hotel Association. The WTO also conducted "intensive" training for Ministry of Tourism inspectors.

WTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili praised the initiatives, predicting the new criteria would help visitors better choose their accommodations and would help the country's tourism sector as a whole.