File Photo: A view of the entrance of the Temple of Luxor ahead of the reopening ceremony of the Avenue of Sphinxes commonly know as El Kebbash Road on Thursday, Nov. 25,2021 in Luxor, Egypt. AP
The Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities released a video on Tuesday showcasing all the sites that have gone cashless so far, requiring credit cards, bank cards or pre-paid Meeza cards for entry.
The trend began in May when four of Aswan's most famous Ancient Egyptian sites adopted exclusively cashless payments.
A second wave of sites went cashless in early June mostly in Greater Cairo, mandating that group tickets bought by tour agents be purchased with cards or transfers.
The cashless push forms part of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities’ plan to digitize entry to all archaeological attractions in Egypt.
It also contributes to government efforts to increase the flow of foreign currency into the country, announced Mostafa Waziri, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, in May.
It will also enhance tourists' experiences, Waziri added. Holders of electronic tickets will also be given fast-tracked entry to museums and archaeological sites.
The system is set to be implemented in a total of 40 such museums and sites by the end of August.
Below are the sites that have adopted the cashless system:
- The Egyptian Museum in Tahrir
- Pyramids of Giza
- Salah El-Din Citadel
- Luxor Temple
- Karnak Temple
- Hatshepsut Temple
- Valley of the Kings
- Valley of the Queens
- Sphinx Avenue
- Luxor Museum
- Mummification Museum
- Kom Ombo temple
- Abu Simbel Temple
- Edfu Temple
- Philae Temple
- Nubian Temple
The government has also recently implemented other changes to ease the tourist experience.
Egypt introduced a new five-year multiple-entry visa for foreigners in June, allowing the holder to stay up to 90 days per visit for a fee of $700.
In March, Egypt eased tourist visa requirements for several nationalities including China, Iran, India, Turkey, Morocco, Algeria and Israel.
The government also announced in January that as many as 180 nationalities are allowed entry upon arrival on the condition that the passport holder has a valid and used visa for either the United Kingdom, the United States, New Zealand, Japan, or the Schengen countries.
Earlier in March 2022, Egypt announced that 78 nationalities are allowed to obtain an electronic visa prior to entry.
More than 11.7 million tourists visited Egypt in 2022, an increase of 46.2 percent over the eight million counted in 2021, according to figures released by the tourism ministry.
The government has projected that the number of visitors will rise another 28 percent in 2023 to reach 15 million.