Luxor's Valley of the Kings introduces self-service ticketing machines for cultural exploration

Nevine El-Aref , Friday 12 Jan 2024

In a new move towards digitization, the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has installed and activated the operation of the first self-service ticketing machines in the Valley of the Kings on Luxor’s west bank.



This innovative approach aims to enhance the visitor experience by introducing a hassle-free method for purchasing tickets to explore the rich cultural tapestry of museums and archaeological sites in the country.

The Valley of the Kings, known for its historical significance and captivating ancient artifacts, is now at the forefront of embracing technology to streamline the ticketing process. This initiative aligns with the broader digital transformation strategy of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, reflecting a commitment to providing modern, efficient services to both Egyptian residents and international tourists.

Mostafa Waziry, the secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), highlighted the significance of this step in the context of the ministry's comprehensive digital transformation strategy. He emphasized that the introduction of self-service ticketing machines is a pivotal component for improving the overall tourist experience. This move is part of the broader national strategy for tourism development in Egypt, aligning with the government's vision for a digitally advanced and visitor-friendly industry.

These machines allow visitors to effortlessly purchase entry tickets to museums and archaeological sites using their bank cards. This user-friendly approach is not only convenient, but it also contributes to reducing congestion at traditional ticket sales outlets on sites, paving the way for a smoother and more efficient process.

Khaled Sherif, the assistant to the minister of tourism and antiquities for digital transformation, stressed the exclusive use of bank cards for payment through these machines.

“This step is a strategic move in sync with the Egyptian government's broader digital transformation goals and a conscious effort to encourage non-cash transactions,” he added.

Moreover, it reinforces the ministry's role as a vigilant overseer of Egypt's tourism industry, ensuring effective regulation and monitoring of visitor movements, Sherif noted.

As part of the initial phase, he continued, the ministry plans to install and operate 40 self-service machines at 20 of the most visited archaeological sites across the country. This phased implementation demonstrates a commitment to gradually integrate technology into various facets of cultural exploration while ensuring a seamless transition for both local and international visitors.

“This technological leap comes on the heels of the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities' earlier measures to promote non-cash transactions, with a successful rollout in various historical sites and museums across Egypt,” Sherif pointed out. 

Starting May 2023, the tourism ministry initiated a policy restricting the purchase of tickets at archaeological sites and museums to exclusively involve various types of bank cards, with cash payments being excluded. The rollout of this initiative commenced in Aswan governorate, where non-cash payments were fully adopted in prominent locations such as the temples of Edfu, Kom Ombo, Abu Simbel, Philae, the Nubian Museum, and the Incomplete Obelisk.

This payment system is also being introduced in other archaeological sites and museums in Cairo, including the Giza Pyramids area, the Saladin Citadel, and the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir. The non-cash payment system is currently in progress across more than 30 archaeological sites and museums, facilitating a widespread shift toward digital transactions.


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