Egypt’s Trade and Industry Ministry has issued a ban on the import of all Egyptian souvenirs made abroad, announced Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour on Saturday.
The Ministry’s decision bans the import of souvenirs and products of “artistic and folkloric nature, as well as archaeological models” reported Al-Masry Al-Youm. According to the Ministry, the move aims to preserve Egypt’s artistic heritage and promote the purchase of locally made souvenirs and products.
Among the types of gifts and souvenirs which have been banned from import are objects made of wood, mosaics, metals, jewels, carpets, paintings, sculptures, objects made of marble, fake alabaster and more.
Visitors to Egypt often encounter souvenirs made in China, which are often of a lesser quality than Egyptian produced souvenirs. The influx of Chinese-made souvenirs had also impacted local businesses and contributed to unemployment, said the Minister.
The decision to ban the import of foreign made souvenirs comes as the tourism industry is slowly recovering. According to Egypt’s new Tourism Minister Khaled Ramy, the government hopes to raise $20 billion in revenue from tourism by 2020 by attracting 20 million visitors.