Federation of Tourism Chambers rejects increase in sites entrance fees
The Egyptian Federation of Chambers of Tourism refused the hikes announced in ticket prices for museums and archaeological sites, Al-Borsa news reported.
Chairman of the caretaker committee of the Egyptian Federation of Chambers of Tourism Karim Mohsen said that the timing for such an increase was all wrong.
The idea of applying increases now -- before an entire season would have passed over the recovery of tourism traffic -- is unacceptable.
He stressed that the high prices affect tourists of cheaper categories but do not have an impact on the tourists with a high rate of spending.
He called for the need to consult with the owners of tourism agencies on the value and timing of increases so they can have ample time to notify their customers.
Nile Flower Tours Company owner Adel Nagy said the increase would be acceptable if the government improved the services provided at archaeological sites.
The Antiquities and Tourism ministries should coordinate regarding the increase and its timing, he added.
Mohsen agreed with Nagy that the timing was wrong to announce an increase in fees due to low tourist inflow, amid a lingering perception of a weak security.
Tharwat al-Agami, Chairman of the Chamber of Tourism Companies of Luxor, supported the decision of the Ministry of Antiquities to increase fees, saying the increase is acceptable in light of the higher dollar exchange rate.
He added that this decision will contribute to increasing the tourism sector revenues, provided the tour operators would be notified of the new fees in advance.
Antiquities Minister Khaled al-Anany has declared that ticket prices for tourists at museums, archaeological sites and temples will be increased starting October, so that tourist agencies will not be surprised by the increase when conducting contracts for the winter season.
The ministry, according to Anany, has not raised ticket prices since 2010. The average increase will range between 50-60 percent to cope with changes in the US dollar exchange rate. He said it is unreasonable for tourists to continue visiting the pyramids for only US$4, adding it will be increased to US$6, which is acceptable though not equal to the appreciation of the dollar rate.
Ticket prices at the pyramids will be raised from LE80 to LE120; the Valley of the Kings in Luxor from LE100 to LE160; the Egyptian museum from LE75 to LE120; Abu Simbel temple from LE100 to LE160; and Kom Ombo temple from LE40 to LE80.
Anany indicated a huge problem in funding employees' salaries, saying that LE81 million is required to pay their wages, while the total income from visits to the archaeological sites accounted for only LE2.6 million in 2016.
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