Last week, the Egyptian Parliament adopted a law that intends to protect the tourism industry, which is an important part of the country’s economy.
The local inhabitants who bother tourists may be asked to pay a fine. This is the new Egyptian law, approved by Parliament, which aims at protecting the country’s tourism sector. It focuses on some local vendors, who go after tourists to sell different services, such as camel rides, or the purchase of trinkets and parchment pieces, for instance.
The fines for people who bother tourists can reach up to 462 euros.
The law intends to protect the tourism industry, which accounts for 12% of the Egyptian economy, and is currently threatened by the competition enticed by these vendors. The “law on the protection of antiquities”, the epithet given by the local press, intends to fine those who approach tourists to ask for money or provide or sell services.
The new law raises some concerns among the inhabitants, who rely on these services to fight the poverty in which they live. Those who are “fighting for food, fighting to be able to feed their families” are the ones who will suffer the most, a tourism guide points out.
Oscar Saleh is among those who sell camel rides, next to the Great Pyramid of Giza. He denies that there is any problem with bothering tourists. “Go visit the Egyptian Museum, go visit the pyramids, nobody will bother you,” he defies.