Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hurghada protests suggested boat tax

Boating and snorkelling trips are one of the hot commodities as far as tourism excursions go in the Red Sea. Hurghada is no exception. It's unlikely that you can run into anybody who has come to spend time on the sea-side resort town who will not be taking a boat trip. Diving, trips to surrounding islands, boat parties, snorkelling outings, dolphin sighting trips, the list goes on. There is no shortage in boat trips to choose from. This made recent suggestions to impose a 10 LE per person per boat tax a seemingly great way to earn some extra revenue.  

It came as a surprise to tour operators and boat owners when last week the Governor of Hurghada, newly appointed after the Revolution, announced plans to impose a 10 LE charge (just under 2 dollars) per person, per boat trip, for all companies. This included live aboards, dive trips, down to the average boat ferrying people back and forth to Giftun island. This 10 LE surcharge was in addition to the taxes and fees already paid by each company to the government, taxes that include environmental protection taxes, security taxes, marine taxes, the list goes on.

A protest was organized for today, Sunday, among tour groups, boat owners, and excursion companies. Approximately 200 protesters all gathered in front of Hurghada's Naval building, located near the Nile Hospital. Their demands were simple. At a time when tourism in Egypt is already suffering as a result of continued unrest, companies do not need additional unnecessary surcharges per client, particularly when the destination of this surcharge was not clarified.

The protesters were gathered on a well-travelled road in Hurghada, and consequently took great care to ensure they were not disrupting the normal flow of traffic. The protest was peaceful and orderly, with one 'spokesman' leading the chants with the protesters demands.

Ultimately, the end result proved successful. The governor initially promised to "look over" the proposal and see if it could be amended, but following pressure from the protesters - who promised a sit-in did the governor not comply - the governor recanted his initial statements, ensuring protesters that the tax would not be imposed.

Below are some shots from the protest, all photos copyright Karim Mubariz.

The leader of the protest, shouting out their demands 

Down on the street, protesters urged people upwards
to ensure normal flow of traffic.

Close up of the "spokesman"

1 comment:

  1. ثقافة الهزيمة .. عصابة البقرة الضاحكة‏ 3

    وأنا تقديري الشخصي لهذه العملية الخاصة بسعاد حسني أنه لم يكن ثمة ما يدعو لأقتحام الغرفة عليها أثناء وجودها مع ممدوح والأكتفاء بمواجهتها بالصور التي حصلنا عليها من عملية الكنترول خاصة وأن الأقتحام تم أثناء ممارسة أوضاع جنسية وكانت سعاد عريانة،

    وأذكر أنه في مرحلة من مراحل العملية كانت سعاد وممدوح متغطيين بملاية وكان ذلك من ضمن الأسباب التي دفعت إلى التفكير في الأقتحام أنما هذا لا يمنع من أننا ألتقطنا لهم صور قبل ما يتغطوا بالملاية، وقد كانت هذه العملية الخاصة بسعاد حسني هي أول عملية نلجأ فيها إلى هذا الأسلوب في التجنيد وهو ضبطها متلبسة. ..

    باقى المقال ضمن مجموعة مقالات ثقافة الهزيمة ( بقلم غريب المنسى ) بالرابط التالى