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Friday, 24 March 2017

No final decision on increase in visa fee: Egypt tourism minister

Mahmoud Aziz , Thursday 9 Mar 2017
tourists
A group of tourists listen to a guide near the Djoser's step pyramid in Saqqara, outside of Cairo ( Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt's Minister of Tourism Yehia Rashed said in an interview with the Russian Ria Novosti news agency that Egypt has not made a final decision regarding whether it will increase fees for entry visas.

Last month, an official source in Cairo airport told Ahram Online that the foreign ministry informed airport security officials that the cost of entry visas would be increased from $25 to $60 starting 1 March.

Days later, the foreign ministry informed its envoys abroad of a cabinet order to postpone the price increase until July.

Officials have not announced a reason for the delay, though sources in the tourism sector told Al-Ahram Arabic news website that the decision to postpone came after the foreign ministry received complaints from the tourism industry that the hike would negatively impact the sector.

Egypt last increased its visa fee in April 2014 from $15 to $25.

The country has struggled to attract tourists pushed away by the political turmoil that followed the 2011 uprising.

Tourism sector revenues dropped to $3.4 billion in 2016, a 44.3 percent decline from the previous year, the Central Bank of Egypt said in January. The figure is a far cry from the $11 billion in revenues generated by the sector in 2010, when 14.7 million tourists visited the country.

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