In a move to protect its resurging tourism industry, a new Egyptian Law has been put forward. The country’s government recently approved a new fine for anyone caught harassing tourists.
The new law especially targets aggressive touts and hawkers in and around tourist sites or museums such as the pyramids of Giza, “with the intention of begging or promoting, offering or selling a good or service”. It includes a fine of up to 10,000 Egyptian pounds ($566) for those found flouting it. This is part of the larger Antiquities Protection Law.
This is a reaction to countless complaints from visitors, claiming that they are often confronted by aggressive hawkers looking to sell souvenirs or camel rides. Back in 2008, the pyramids of Giza were given a massive $19 million security makeover. This included a fence to prevent hawkers from plying their trade.
New Law Fines Hawkers at Major Egyptian Sites
While some tourists may see this as part and parcel of visiting famous Egyptian sites, the government wants to end such experiences and boost its struggling tourism industry. Some MPs have even stated that heftier fines of up to 20,000 Egyptian pounds should be placed on those pestering tourists.
As it stands, the law covers both museums and archaeological sites. Many have pointed out that in reality, hawkers also follow tourists through city streets beyond these areas. However, the move has been met with positive reactions, including from the Egyptian Minister of Archaeology, Khaled al-Anani. He believes that will act as a deterrent “for those who carry out such acts that badly affects tourism”.
The new Egyptian law looks like it will do much for their valuable tourist industry, especially as tourists are slowly returning to the country after recent security concerns.