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26/12/2016 - 18:17hs

Egypt gives discounts to reel in tourists

The government is offering 20% off on tickets to archaeological sites during the year-end holidays and throughout January.

Gianni Dagli Orti/The Art Archive/The Picture Desk/AFP

Hieroglyphics in the tomb of Seti I

São Paulo – The government of Egypt announced a 20% discount on tickets to archaeological sites during the Christmas and New Year holidays and all January long, the online version of the local Al Ahram daily reported this Monday (26). Egypt’s Coptic Christians celebrate Christmas on January 7 – they follow a different calendar.

The Minister of Antiquities, Khaled El-Enany, told Al Ahram that the goal is to increase foreign tourist influx, as well as encourage nationals to see the historical sites. Tourism is a prime mover of Egyptian economy, but numbers have been dropping for the past few years.

According to the daily, the discount applies to the Luxor Pass and the Annual Visitor Pass.

The Luxor Pass allows five-day access to Luxor’s attractions. The city sits where Thebes – the capital of Ancient Egypt during the New Kingdom – used to be. It is home to sites of huge historical importance, such as the Temple of Karnak and the Valley of the Kings.

The head of the Financial Department of the Ministry of Antiquities, Somaya Benyameen, told Al Ahram that two different categories of the Luxor Pass are available, at different price points.

The first one includes tickets to see the tombs of queen Nefertari and of pharaoh Seti I. ANBA had reported last September that these and other attractions were closed to visitors, but Egypt’s government has decided to reopen them in a bid to boost tourist numbers. This pass costs USD 200 without the discount. Students pay USD 100.

The other category does not include those two tombs, and it sells for USD 100 – discount not included –, or USD 50 for students.

The Annual Pass affords access to all archaeological sites and museums that are open to the public in Egypt. Diplomats and non-locals who work for international or multinational companies in the country pay USD 340 (discount not included), with the Nefertari and Seti I toms included. The regular price without these two tombs is USD 240.

Non-nationals residing in Egypt pay USD 390 with access to the tombs included, or USD 290 without access (discount not included).

Egyptians and other Arab nationals residing in Egypt pay EGP 400 (USD 20.25) for the Annual Pass; university students pay EGP 100 (USD 5.06). Admission to the sites is free for primary and high school students and Egyptian nationals older than 60.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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