The Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled al-Anany issued a decree regulating the work of optional trips for all types of tourists, whether coming through tourism companies or individually.
The decision is effective beginning from November.
The decree introduced amendments to a decision issued in 2014 regarding permits for the passage of tourist groups.
It also included the establishment of a tighter and clearer mechanism to organize these trips to ensure the rights of tourism companies and the organization of tourism work.
A statement by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said that the amendments stipulated in the new decree benefits the public interest in the tourism sector, and contributes to protecting the tourism industry and preserving the reputation of Egypt as a tourist destination.
According to the decree, optional trips must be carried out by one of the means of tourist transport activity licensed by the ministry, with a tour guide or a representative of the tourism company executing the optional trip provided that the representative is registered in the records of the ministry, in order to accompany the tourist group.
The decision also stipulated that dealing in the sale, organization or implementation of any of the optional trips shall be limited to the tourism company that brings the tourist group in the place of the optional trip.
This company may delegate another tourism company (A class) according to the authorization form approved by the Ministry in this regard.
According to the decision, tourism companies are prohibited from dealing in the sale, organization or implementation of any of the optional trips for tourists with any tour brokers, intermediaries or any entity not authorized to do so.
The decision also stipulated an exception to this article, which is that each tourism company may sell, organize or implement optional trips for tourists coming to the country on their own or through any Egyptian tourism company.
Any tourism company, (A class), other than the company that brings the tourist group in the place of the optional trip, may sell, organize or implement the optional trip, provided that the implementation of the optional trip is based on the tourist’s desire and free singularity, by signing the desire form prepared for this purpose by the chamber of companies and travel and tourism agencies approved by the ministry.
The tourism company executing the optional trip is also obligated to notify the chamber of companies, travel and tourism agencies and the Ministry before the optional trip takes place, while bearing civil and criminal liability in the face of the tourist who is the subject of the optional trip.