CAIRO: Tourists could be saved from over-zealous touts at Egypt’s most popular archaeological sites after the country’s government approved a new fine of to 10,000 Egyptian pounds (£406) for those caught overstepping the line.
The new rule, part of the broader Antiquities Protection Law, will target those in and around tourist sites or museums such as the pyramids of Giza, selling goods or offering services in an aggressive manner.
“There is no deterrent so far for those who carry out such acts that badly affects tourism,” said minister of archeology Khaled al-Anani.
Oscar Saleh, who offers camel rides at Giza, told the Guardian the fines were addressing a problem that wasn’t there. “Go visit the Egyptian Museum, go visit the pyramids – no one will bother you,” he said.
However, the government thinks differently, with some MPs proposing heftier fines of up to 20,000 Egyptian pounds.
The British Foreign Office warns visitors to “high-profile sites” that they may be “confronted aggressively for money or business, even while travelling by car or taxi. Visitors using a pre-booked guide, or taking an organised tour to visit the Giza Pyramids are likely to face fewer difficulties”.