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Saturday, 27 May 2017

Egypt approves price hike for multiple entry visas, maintains old price for single entry

Menna Alaa El-Din , Tuesday 21 Mar 2017
Tourists In Egypt
File Photo: Tourists take a souvenir photo in front of the Great Giza pyramids on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt, August 31, 2016 (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt's cabinet decided on Tuesday to raise the price of multiple entry tourist visas from $35 to $60, while maintaining the old rate of $25 for single entry visas.

Tourism minister Yehia Rashed said in press statements that the cabinet approved the decision following a meeting headed by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail.

The minister did not specify when the change would be implemented.

In February, Egyptian officials said the country would introduce new visa hikes for both single and multiple entry visas, from $25 to $60 and $35 to $70, respectively.

Shortly after, however, the cabinet decided to postpone the implementation of the new prices from March till July, without giving a reason for the delay.

However, sources in the tourism sector have said that the price measure was postponed after Egypt's foreign ministry received complaints from the tourism sector saying the fee hike was too sudden and would negatively impact the tourism industry.

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

Egypt has struggled to attract tourists scared off by the political turmoil that followed the 2011 uprising that ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

Tourism took another hit in 2015 after a Russian airliner crashed in Sinai, leading to the suspension of flights from several European countries, including Russia and the UK. 

The country’s tourism 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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