The Egyptian tourism industry, dependent on visitors to sites such as Luxor, shown here, is girding for a slowdown in business. Victoria Hazou for The National

Egypt will exempt hotels from paying an annual fee towards promoting tourism this year to help the hospitality sector cope with the global financial crisis.

The country’s tourism industry has started to feel the negative effects of the crisis, with hotel bookings this month down 30 per cent on January last year.

Dubai hotels have also experienced a sharp drop in occupancy rates and authorities in the emirate are also offering incentives to help sustain business.

The National