Last Update 10:30
Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Egypt exempts Russian tourists from visa fees, mulls 'barter' with Moscow

Russians are the largest single tourist group in Egypt, making up about a fifth of foreign vacationers in the country in the past four years

Ahram Online , Thursday 15 Jan 2015
Sharm el-Sheikh
File Photo: People enjoy the beach at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh in the South Sinai governorate, about 550 km (342 miles) south of Cairo, July 12, 2012 (Photo: Reuters)
Views: 3767
Views: 3767

Egypt will exempt tourists from Russia from the $25 visa fee as part of its efforts to offset the effects of the depreciation of the ruble which made Egypt a more expensive destination for Russian vacationers.

The exemption will last from 15 January to 30 April, traditionally the high season for beach tourism in Egypt, Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou said in an emailed statement.

Zaazou also said he had presented a proposal to the cabinet's economic team to allow Russian tourists to pay for their vacations in Ruble; and Egypt in turn to use these rubles to buy certain Russian products. The "barter" system will be implemented if the central banks of Egypt and Russia approve it, he said.

The ruble has lost more than 50 percent of its value since August 2014 on the back of declining oil prices and economic sanctions from the West. Egyptian tour operators and hotel owners, especially in Red Sea resorts, have felt the sting of declining visitors from Russia.

Russians are the largest single tourist group in Egypt, making up about a fifth of foreign vacationers in the country in the past four years, as well as 60 percent of tourists to the Red Sea, according to official data. In 2014, about three million Russians visited Egypt, according to the ministry's statement.

Egypt’s LE49 billion ($7 billion) tourism industry began recovering in 2014 after plummeting in the second half of 2013 due to the bloody violence that followed the ouster of president Mohamed Morsi.

Russia is Egypt's third largest wheat supplier, providing 26.3 percent (765,000 tonnes) of the country's imports in the second half of 2014, Mamdouh Abdel Fattah, vice chairman of Egypt's grain buyer GASC, said in December.


Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

15-01-2015 05:55pm
Have fun with 100% Russian tourism
If Egypt is so keen on only supporting Russian tourism than my last vist was in 2014. Bye Egypt.
Comment's Title
18-01-2015 10:06pm
Russian Tourists don’t bring their Potato!
It’s a joke, don’t take seriously Mr. Dutch-tourist. Seriously, the recent instability in Egypt over the last 3 years deterred most tourists from Western Europe and US to visit. The only 2 groups still visiting, in smaller numbers; the Russians and a few Chinese. It is purely business, that Egypt decided to make it easier for the people who are still visiting, despite the instability at home, and decline in their currency to continue to visit. Europeans, who are brave enough to visit don’t mind the $25 fee. Let’s hope the Euro doesn’t continue to decline further, otherwise we have to wave the visa fees for Europe too!

© 2010 Ahram Online.