Tourists flock to the world famous Egyptian pyramids again
by Mahmoud Fouly
CAIRO – Egypt’s world-renowned site of the pyramids, including the three great pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, has regained more than 50% of the number of visitors who frequented the site before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, a the site director said in an interview with Xinhua on the occasion of World Tourism Day.
“The recovery has started to exceed 50 percent since late July and early August. In September, there is a noticeable increase due to better weather and improved precautionary measures,” said Ashraf Mohieddin, Egyptologist and general manager of the site of the pyramids.
He attributed the growing number of visitors to the efforts of the government and the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in terms of implementing precautionary measures at all tourist sites in the country, “which paved the way for hospitality. of as many tourists as possible and gave foreign countries a lot of comfort to enable their citizens to travel to Egypt.
He added that the availability of Covid-19 vaccines and the vaccination campaigns launched in Egypt in recent months have made people feel more secure when visiting tourist sites in Egypt.
“The Great Pyramid of Giza, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the Sphinx, one of the world’s largest sculptures, are among the top destinations for all visitors to the site, followed by nearby Saqqara, which includes the Step Pyramid, the oldest pyramid in history, ”the official told Xinhua.
Mohieddin expects more tourists to visit the site in winter, which he considers “the main season” for tourists to visit the pyramids.
“In addition, the predominant vaccines planned in the coming period and the vaccination campaigns launched in many countries will encourage more to come,” he said.
Egypt’s tourism sector contributed around 12% of the country’s GDP just before the pandemic and it is one of the main sources of foreign exchange for the most populous Arab country.
In August, Russia resumed flights to Egyptian resorts on the Red Sea, including Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada, after a nearly six-year suspension following the deadly explosion of a Russian plane in 2015 shortly after its departure. take off from Sharm el-Sheikh.
The return of Russian tourists is also a key factor in the recent general improvement in tourism to Egypt.
“We have a very notable improvement in the number of tourists after gaining the confidence of all countries regarding the precautionary measures that are implemented in all our archaeological sites”, underlined the director of the site of the pyramids of Giza.
He added that the ongoing developments of the pyramids site, including a new desert side entrance which will soon be open, eco-friendly electric buses that will take tourists to different areas of the site, in addition to a large parking lot, mobile toilets and Wi-Fi services, will all attract more visitors.
Mohieddin noted that these developments will be up and running in a few months.
“There will be electronic tickets and there could also be online reservations. We are going to make massive technological developments at the pyramids site,” the Egyptian official told Xinhua.
He noted that Egyptians who randomly offer tourists camel and horseback rides will attend training courses organized by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and have their work regulated to improve their communication with tourists and avoid violations.