In a move that has stunned many tourism experts, Egypt has decided to end its long-standing Egypt visa on arrival program.
For as long as anyone can remember, tourists have been able to visit Egypt with ease by obtaining a visa in the airport upon arriving in the country. However, officials out of Egypt have announced that individual tourists will now need to obtain an Egypt visa prior to traveling to the country.
The new rule will go into effect as of May 15, 2015. So, if you have plans to visit Egypt after that date, you need to be sure to obtain your Egypt visas in advance. Contact the team at Swift to learn exactly how to do that and what fees may be involved.
Why the Change in Egypt’s Visa Policy?
The change to Egypt’s visa policy has come as a shocker to many people throughout the tourism industry. After all of the upheaval brought about during and after Arab Spring, Egypt’s tourism industry has suffered substantially. According to The Guardian, tourism revenues in Egypt were £3.6 billion in 2013. That may sound like a lot, but that figure was down from £7.7 billion in 2010.
The policy change only affects individual tourists who are traveling to Egypt of their own accord. People visiting as part of tour groups will not be subject to the new visa changes.
It’s hard to say whether tourism in Egypt will be able to rebound in the next several years, as the economy there is still struggling. Hopefully things will turn around soon, both for the people of Egypt and for everyone who has always dreamed of visiting the pyramids, the Sphynx, and countless other Egyptian treasures.
Making it harder for people to obtain visas is not expected to help tourism in Egypt. Many are saying that they don’t understand the timing of the decision, and there is some suspicion that the government is trying to weed out militants and/or human rights activists who are trying to get into the country. However, the Egyptian tourism ministry is maintaining that the change shouldn’t have a negative effect. The ministry’s media adviser commented that the change shouldn’t affect many people because most people visit Egypt in pre-arranged tour groups.
If you’d like help obtaining a tourist visa to Egypt and other countries in the area, take the time to contact Swift today. We are here to answer your questions and help get you where you need to go with the least amount of hassle.