Egypt to impose LE 10,000 fine on those harassing tourists
CAIRO – 28 May 2018: Egyptian tourism has witnessed a quite recovery in 2018 as booking are up by 89 per cent. Yet the country always suffered from sellers and vendors who have a reputation for harassing tourists. Fortunately, a new law has been put in place by the Egyptian parliament banning street vendors from harassing tourists near popular attractions.
The Parliament has approved the new Protection of Antiquities Law last month, including Article 53 that regulated the penalties of harassing tourists.
Under the new law, “Unless there is a tougher penalty stipulated in any other law, whoever harasses tourists or visitors of archaeological sites or museums, with the intention of begging or promoting, offering or selling a good or service, shall be punished with a fine of not less than LE 3,000 ($169) and not more than LE 10,000.”
MP Ehab al-Tamawy called for toughening the punishment to reach a fine of LE 20,000. Minister of Antiquities Khaled El-Enani and MP Osama Heikal, head of the Culture and Media Committee in Parliament, supported Tamawy’s suggestion, but other MPs refused to increase the penalty.
Parliament Speaker Ali Abdul Aal said, “There is no such penalty in any other country and the toughening of the punishment will not eradicate the phenomenon. Increasing the awareness about the nuisance of such acts among the society can contribute to ending them.”
The new law comes in line with the tourism authorities’ efforts to prepare for the summer season amid the return of direct Russian flights to Egypt.