On August 11, the Egyptian Culture Minister Farouk Hosni inaugurated the first phase of the site management project for the Giza Plateau which includes the installation of electronic entrance gates, the creation of a special foot path for tourists and the construction of a service area.
Dr. Zahi Hawass, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), said that within the framework of this project, the SCA is signing a contract with a specialized company to provide and operate electric vehicles, which will transport tourists to and from the plateau. This company will also be in charge of the maintenance of these vehicles and pay the SCA a monthly fee to operate them.
All across Egypt, site management projects at historical landmarks are carried out to provide safety and security at all attractions and sites. “On top, we have improved facilities and amenities around all the sites through safe zoning, visitor centers and addition of clean restrooms. The Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Tourism and the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities are working together to improve the monuments in a bid to keep Egypt safe and more attractive,” said Hawass.
Hawass said creating site management programs will also help better preserve Egyptian cultural heritage before they start uncovering new finds. Site management ideas have been designed to better accommodate visitors.
Minister Hosni will also inaugurate the project’s second phase, which includes the repaving of the road around the archaeological site, the installation of a new lighting system, the development of the square in front of the Sphinx, and the movement of the inspectorate building to the area behind the storage facility located to the south of the Pyramids.
During his tour, Hosni will inspect all executive plans outlined by engineering consultant Tarek Abul-Naga for the project’s third and final phase. This phase will include the creation of a parking area, cafeteria, bookshops, bazaars and a stable for horses and camels.
After the implementation of this phase, explained Hawass, tourists will be able to ride horses and camels outside the archaeological area, which will serve as a dramatic backdrop. The third phase will also include the establishment of a visitor center to introduce visitors to the plateau before their actual visit. A police station and an ambulance unit will be also included. Sources for funding for this huge project are provided mainly by the Egyptian government.
All improvements are being done in view of the Egyptian Tourism Authority’s ambitious strategic program created to bump up visitor numbers to 16 million in 2014.
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