CAIRO - 2 January 2020: Dr. Khaled El Enany, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, the Governor of Luxor, and Dr. Mostafa Waziry, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, visited the first phase of the restoration project of some of Rams statues located behind the first pylon in the Temple of Amun Ra in the temples of Karnak in Luxor on Saturday.
This included the restoration of 29 statues in the southern region, and the implementation of the second phase started, which includes restoring the rest of the 19 statues group in the northern region.
During the inauguration, the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities and the Governor of Luxor listened to a detailed explanation from the archaeologist Salah El Masakh about the work that was done to restore the Rams statues, where the Minister thanked the restorers and workers who carried out this huge project.
He also thanked the governor for the work done by the governorate to develop the city's infrastructure and its corniche.
Dr. Khaled El Enany explained that he came to today, on the second day of the new year, to encourage cultural tourism and support workers in the sector.
He expressed his happiness with the resumption of cultural tourism.
He added that there are now about 40 floating hotels operating between Luxor and Aswan, which were only about 10 hotels a few days ago.
The minister pointed out that 74% of the arrivals to the city are Egyptians who were keen to know the history and civilization of their ancient country, in addition to the one-day trips coming from Hurghada.
He added that the "Enjoy your winter in Egypt" initiative launched by the ministry in cooperation with the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Chamber of Hotel Facilities will revitalize domestic tourism so that Egyptians visit the antiquities of their beautiful countries by granting a reduction in the prices of domestic air tickets to tourist cities, ranging between 1500 to 2000 Egyptian pounds.
This is in addition to reducing hotel prices and granting a 50% discount on tickets to enter museums and archaeological sites.
During his tour of the temples of Karnak, the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities met with tourist groups from Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and Switzerland who came to Luxor on day trips from Hurghada.
The tourists took photos with the minister and the governor, expressing their happiness to spend the first days of the new year in Luxor, which they described as the best place to be.
The tour was attended by a number of members of Parliament in Luxor, and Mr. Mohamed Othman, head of the Marketing Committee for Cultural Tourism in Upper Egypt.
The minister also inspected the excavations of the Egyptian archaeological mission headed by Mustafa El Saghir, director of the Karnak temples, on the road to the major processions, where the foundations of the gate of the Khonsu Temple were discovered, which is a huge granite stone lintels reused from the era of King Thutmose III, in addition to the restoration work in the main lobby of the columns .
Mr. Mohamed Othman, head of the Cultural Tourism Marketing Committee in Upper Egypt, indicated that the committee has set up excavation in the parade of major celebrations on tourism excursion programs to inform tourists of what archaeologists are doing to discover the secrets of the ancient Egyptian civilization.
During his tour, the minister also visited the tourist market, where he met with a number of workers in bazaars, and talked to them about the "Enjoy your winter in Egypt" initiative and its importance in promoting domestic tourism.
The minister also explained to them some inquiries regarding the closing times of the bazaars, as the minister indicated that according to the decision of the Cabinet, the bazaars are closed every day at 12:00am except on Thursday and Friday at 1:00 am.
The workers also spoke with the minister about the tourist bazaars licensing fees, as the minister indicated that a 50% reduction in the tourist bazaars licensing fees had been made, stressing the importance of being licensed.
During the meeting, workers in the bazaars expressed their happiness with the Minister's visit.