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Friday, 18 October 2019

Tour groups not affected by new Egyptian visa restrictions: FM

New visa procedures will not apply to tourists visiting in groups, confirms a foreign ministry spokesperson

Marina Barsoum , Wednesday 18 Mar 2015
Egypt
Tourists wait for their flight, as an Egyptair plane is seen, background, at a waiting hall in Cairo's international airport, in Egypt. (Photo: AP)
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Egypt's foreign ministry spokesperson Badr Abdel-Ati stressed on Wednesday that the new modification concerning visas will not affect foreigners currently living in Egypt nor organised tourist groups.  

"Individual foreigners wishing to visit Egypt either for work or for tourism purposes will be the ones who will need to obtain a prior visa from their Egyptian consulates," Abdel Ati told Ahram Online.

Meanwhile, head of the Customs and Immigration Authority Ashraf Reda said that they haven’t received any new visa regulations from the foreign ministry.

"We will be working by the old visa procedures until we get other instructions," Reda said.

Many nationalities, including Europeans and American, were allowed to obtain an Egyptian visa at the airport upon arrival.

Starting May 15, individual tourists wishing to visit Egypt should  apply online for the visas or go to the nearest Egyptian consulates in their countries, according to the spokesperson of the Egyptian foreign ministry.

"Just like all other countries, before you travel you need to get the visa first, that would be the case for individuals," Abdel Ati said.

The cost of the Egyptian visas will remain the same as the old price which was $15 per person.

A similar decision was taken in 2011; however, the Egyptian government suspended it after a public outcry, especially from the tourism industry sector.

Egypt has been a magnet for tourists interested in ancient sites, Red Sea resorts, or Nile cruises.

Tourism is an important source of income for the Egyptian foreign currency. However, it has been hammered since the uprising that toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Egypt received over 14.7 million tourists in 2010. Though since the 2011 uprising, the number of visitors dropped to 9.8 million. In 2012, the number of tourists rose to 11.5 million but fell again in 2013 to 9.5 million with revenues of $5.9 billion.

Former foreign minister Hisham Zaazou told Reuters at the end of last year that tourism may fully recover by the end of 2015.

 
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Anne Higgs
31-03-2015 02:12pm
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Information please
Since this issue is expected to start on 15th May 2015. If we arrive on the 13th May 2 days before start date, do we have to get a visa.
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annie
26-03-2015 07:47pm
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problem still on
they don't seem to get it !!!!!alot of people , small hotels , restaurants , flats to let will suffer from this new rule. they have to live from the individual tourists. and for the expats ? what if your pasport expires and you need to get a new one in your homecountry . how do they get back inn ? will the stamp in the old passport count ? stupid rule it will bring tourism down
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mr ernest ward
26-03-2015 07:40pm
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flights
Could you please tell me if you are going to fly from Manchester to Luxor thank you
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dr el namaki
19-03-2015 04:38pm
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incompetence!
Again...this is a big mistake. Tourism contributes a near 10% to egypt's GDP and the new measures will definitly reduce that. And reduce badly needed employment.The decision is taken without prior study and reflects utter incompetence. You conclude a conference where you seek economic growth and you undermine that very goal within less than 24 hours!!
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10



joanna cove
19-03-2015 12:52pm
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new visa rules
no one is disputing need for visa s its the application that will cause many problems for those who cant get to an embassy, a good way would have been the american system where you can apply online and no need to go to mbassy or send passports in the post which is not a good idea too many passports lost in post or delayed a long time . security in egypt is of course very important and in our interests but im sure this change will affect tourism and may need a rethink. egypt is an amazing country with warm hearted people .im wheelchair bound so have problems getting to an embassy in london . good luck egypt
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Karen spurgeon
19-03-2015 10:11am
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Will it affect me and my family?
Hi there I hope you can help,myself and my Husband and two sons are from the UK and we've booked a holiday to sharm for this August through our travel agent,so do we need a visa? If we do ,do we have to go to the Egyptian consulate in London or upon arrival at the Egyptian Airport? We are so Confused. Kind regards Mr & Mrs spurgeon.
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julia garner
19-03-2015 09:16am
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visa changes and Sinai
can you still travel to Sharm el Sheikh and stay on the peninsular and get a visa at Sharm airport? If I have booked my hotel through a uk based travel agent but my flight from a different travel agent both of which are ATOL and ABTA can I travel to Sharm without a visa as before ?? After May and for less than 14 nights
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Aladdin, Alex
19-03-2015 05:38am
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Misleading Article Title
You should say: " The New Visa Regulations Do not Affect Tourisms."
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Wael
19-03-2015 04:05am
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Wishful Thinking
What a conflicting message The egyptian government is sending, after trying so hard to convince the world that Egypt is open for business at Sharm El Sheikh conference, we could not wait more than 48 hours to send everyone that actually counts for foreign investments business men as well as chic tourists that travel to top hotels not through a travel agency as this is a thing from the past you gentlemen from the government. All dropped their pens when such idiocy was announced. Stop behaving with such ignorance and respect lessens, Egypt needs to attract both the quick visiting business man and the elegant tourist that spends in two days what a Russian group will spend over two weeks, wake up to today's reality, it does not make sense to close the country down under so called security excuses, don't you ever learn from previous mistakes, after feeling elated with the conference we all talk now that with such mentality of the government officials, it is simply Hopeless.
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5



Daniel
19-03-2015 12:33am
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Unreasonable decision will harm small hotels
This decision is unreasonable. How many security threats have been caused by foreigners from Europe visiting Egypt? Making it harder for individual tourists to come will only harm all the small hotels who accommodate this group. One of the main problems with the new regulation is the fact that embassy procedures with visa take a long time (up to 2 month in Germany). This is a problem for people who travel for work and can't give their passport away for so long. And it completely ruins any last minute trips. I ask Egypt to reconsider this new rule. It sends a very wrong signal to possible tourists, especially those who come as backpackers. And it is those people who are more interested in the country than the group tourists who book All inclusive.
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