Tourism in Egypt is on track to witness a comeback this coming winter amid latest efforts made by the State Ministry of Antiquities to revive the industry dealt a heavy blow by last year’s turmoil.
Before the winter sets in, which is a high season due to the nice weather characteristic of the bright sunshine, fresh air, and warm breeze, tourism officials are trying their best to revamp Egypt’s wonders across the nation in a bid to attract more visitors.
On Thursday, Egypt’s State Minister for Antiquities Mohammad Ibrahim announced in Giza governorate the opening of Khafre pyramid’s inner tomb to visitors, along with six other graves dating back to the Old Kingdom. “We want to send a message to the whole world that the tourism wheel is spinning and that Egypt is stable enough to complete projects and safe enough to receive the tourists,” he said.
Khafre pyramid is the second of the three pyramids located in Giza governorate that were hailed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It was closed for three years for innovation works, including the ventilation system inside the pyramid.
“The pyramids are one of the world’s seven wonders, it is hard to imagine the old pharaohs were able to build such edifices standing for more than 4,500 years,” Adalina Alejo, 40, a Spanish tourist told Xinhua.
In the necropolis 136 meters west of the pyramid, five tombs were opened, including the tomb of Kah Am Ankh who was known to be in charge of the secrets of the kings’ documents.
Meanwhile, in the necropolis east of the pyramid, the tomb of King Cheop’s granddaughter Meresankh was opened. Meresankh’s tomb is believed to be the most beautiful tomb in the Haram monument area.
“This is the first time to me and my husband to visit Egypt, and we began our tour at the pyramids. Besides the pyramids, I enjoyed listening to the tour guide’s stories about the pharaohs’ traditions,” Astonina, 39, Russian tourist told Xinhua.
“It’s very interesting to know the pharaohs were keen on putting food and drink beside their dead bodies as they believed in resurrection,” she added.
State’s Center for Statistics recently reported that the number of foreign tourists coming to Egypt increased in the first half of the year by 26.8 percent compared with same period last year, reaching 5.2 million.
Founder of the Tour Leaders Association Momen Mahrous said the tourist number increased significantly after the presidential elections, noting one third of the five and four stars hotels in Sharm al-Shaiekh and Hurghada are reserved for November.
“Sharm al-Shaiekh and Hurghada are considered as the best tourism places in Egypt in the winter because of the wonderful weather as well as the water activities such as diving, water- skiing, and snorkeling”, Mahrous said.
Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Antiquities Mohsen el-Sayed expect better tourist turnout in the winter season, noting the antiquity ministry will re-opens some other tourist sites soon.
“Jewels museum, located in Alexandria, will be reopened for visitors on Oct. 16,” el-Sayed said. The museum is housed in an architectural masterpiece, a 93-year-old palace, and displays jewelry and golden antiquities related to the royal family who ruled Egypt from 1805 to 1952. El-Sayed mentioned other projects will be achieved by the year 2015, including Civilization Museum, Grand Egyptian Museum, and Sharm al-Shaiekh Museum
© Xinhua@global times