By ; Bakinam Khaled
eFinance for Digital and Financial Investments S.A.E. (“eFinance”, “EFIG” or the “Group”, EFIH.CA on the Egyptian Exchange), Egypt’s first fintech platform and one of its leading developers of digital payments infrastructures, announced today that its subsidiary eAswaaq Misr has partnered with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to launch an online ticketing service for Egypt’s 29 most popular archaeological sites. The platform will facilitate visits by domestic and international tourists to the sites while helping manage traffic levels to guarantee the highest levels of security and enjoyment.
The platform developed by eAswaaq Misr will allow visitors to book their tickets electronically or through ticket offices that have been digitized and renovated for the purpose. Additionally, the platform offers payment in cash or by credit card, with barcode-enabled tickets being sent digitally to the purchaser for use at new electronic gateways which have been installed at the sites and where visitors will swipe their tickets through a device with a reader for instant access.
Meanwhile, the launch of an electronic ticketing platform for archaeological sites and museums marks a major milestone in wider efforts to develop digital reservation capabilities and electronic gateways at all of Egypt’s sites and museums. The new platform was first introduced in March 2021 for visitors to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in the Fustat area of Cairo, simultaneously with the inauguration of the museum and the events of the Pharaohs’ Golden Parade. The platform was later extended to Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada Museums and several sites in the city of Luxor at the start of 2022, and has now been rolled out to a total of 29 sites with tickets available for booking.
It is noteworthy that the Ministry of Antiquities managed last year, in cooperation with eAswaaq Misr, to launch Konouz Egypt Replica Treasures platform for marketing and selling replica treasures.
It is the first official Egyptian platform for selling antiquities approved by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities. The platform was designed and managed by eAswaaq Misr, which can be accessed through the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities’ booking website. Such platform is one of the most important aspects of joint cooperation between the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and eAswaaq Misr.
Mr. Ibrahim Sarhan, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of eFinance Investment Group, said that the cooperation and partnership between the group and various government agencies and ministries extends at all levels of financial digital transformation of all activities, and the joint projects with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities are among the most famous leading digital projects. To contribute in supporting and revitalization of the tourism sector relying on the latest digital transformation tools and mechanisms provided by eFinance Investment group and its subsidiaries.
Speaking on the launch of the platform, Dr. Khaled Sherif, Adviser to the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, noted that the new platform comes in light of broader efforts by the Ministry to develop its digital capabilities in cooperation with eAswaaq Misr. These efforts have included the development and digitization of several services offered by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and reflect the Ministry’s commitment to delivering on its digitization strategy.
Islam Mamoun, Managing Director at eAswaaq Misr, noted that the company’s efforts at archaeological sites are not limited to the installation of equipment and modern systems, but have also encompassed the renovation of physical ticketing offices and the enhancement of the entire network for remote booking, in addition to the training of ticket office employees for the use of modern equipment including handheld devices for swiping tickets when electronic gateways have reached capacity.
He added that eAswaaq Misr will introduce a mobile application for touristic and archaeological sites on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism, with the app offering booking and electronic payment options. The application will also provide a host of information to local and international tourists regarding activities, products, landmarks, and sites available for visiting by distance, ticket price, and working hours. Additionally, the app will offer tourists the ability to create a visit itinerary prior to their arrival in Egypt. Release of the application is scheduled for the third quarter of 2022.