Travelling to countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Brazil or Egypt wouldn’t be the same without local street vendors persistently approaching you with opportunities to buy useless yet memorable items.

It’s one part of being a tourist that many (if not all) have accepted and deemed as ‘local charm’.

However, Egypt’s leaders don’t want their visitors getting used to harassment by local sellers and are planning to introduce a penalty against those that do.

Photo by Les Anderson on Unsplash

Photo by Les Anderson on Unsplash

The government recently approved a new law that allows local authorities to fine mobile vendors up to EGP10,000 (AU$745) for “begging or promoting, offering or selling a good or service”.

According to reports, the aim of the new law is to protect and restore the country’s tourism industry after it took a large hit during the 2011 political revolution and again following the 2013 coup.

egypt feature

While politicians see the law as a positive move for tourists and the industry, it’s not so great for locals who rely on these sales to survive.

“Go visit the Egyptian Museum, go visit the pyramids – no one will bother you,” Oscar Saleh, a local selling camera rides next to the pyramids of Giza told The Guardian.

Last year, tourism to Egypt increased to 8.3 million arrivals compared to 5.4 million the previous year, a clear sign it’s on the road to recovery.

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What are your thoughts on the new law?