The Supreme Council of Antiquities decided to issue “Cairo Pass” permits to foreigners to visit the monument sites and Islamic museums in Greater Cairo, including Cairo and Giza, and will apply the decision starting 1 November, according to an official at the Ministry of Antiquities.
The council mentioned in its decision—obtained by Daily News Egypt—that the permit will be valid for five days during official working hours, whereby the visitor can visit all archaeological sites mentioned an unlimited number of times during the validity period of the permit.
The value of the permit is $100 for foreign visitors and $50 for foreign students, and the value can be set for other foreign currencies, such as the euro or British pound.
According to the decision of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, the permit will be authorised through the headquarters of the Department of Cultural Relations at the Ministry of Antiquities in Zamalek, the Saladin Citadel of Cairo, the Egyptian Museum, or the pyramids.
The council explained that the documents required to obtain the permit include a personal photograph, passport copy after checking the original one, or university ID of the foreign student.
A source at the Ministry of Antiquities said that applying the process of the combined “full package” permit for visiting all the archaeological sites in Cairo and Giza was based on requests from foreign tourism companies following the success of the experiment in Luxor.
Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enany told Daily News Egypt previously that foreign tourism companies submitted requests to the ministry to apply the experience of issuing the permit package held in Luxor on all archaeological sites, but in the form of a full package that includes all the archaeological sites throughout the country.
The source added that the aim of issuing these permits serves as an attempt to improve the financial resources of the ministry and to maximise the resources of the dollar, and it also serves the tourist through purchasing permits only once during their visit.
He explained that the beginning of the experiment was in November 2016 in Luxor, causing the archaeological sites to receive high turn-out rates through a great number of tourists groups.
Adel Zaki, a member of the board of directors of the Chamber of Tourism Companies and Travel Agencies, praised the decision of the Supreme Council of Antiquities to issue combined permits for visiting all archaeological sites. He added that it reduces travel fees for tourists and increases the number of visit opportunities at the same time.
He continued that despite the success of the idea, it can not be relied on for attracting more tourists to the Egyptian cultural destinations, due to the decline in tourism rates.
He explained that the addition of the package will have a good return, and it is expected to attract some foreign nationalities, but not European, whom they hope to bring back soon and who had previously represented 72% of the volume of inbound tourism.
According to the Supreme Council of Antiquities, the total prices of foreign visitor tickets at all archaeological sites in Cairo and Giza—by calculating the value of the exchange price of the dollar at EGP 18—would reach $147 (EGP 2,630), but they suggested to make it only $100.
The total price of foreign student tickets was calculated to be $73 (EGP 1,315), but the board reduced it to only $50.