Egypt exempts Maghreb tourists from visa requirements
In effort to bolster country's flagging tourism industry, Egypt cancels visa requirements for visitors coming from Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria
Ahram Online, DPA, Monday 25 Feb 2013
Egypt expects more Arab tourists after easing their visa measures (Photo: Reuters)
Tourists coming to Egypt from the Arab Maghreb countries (Libya, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria) will no longer have to obtain tourist visas, German news agency DPA reported on Monday.
President Mohamed Morsi approved the move, which was based on a request by Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou, in hopes of bolstering Egypt's flagging tourism sector, DPA reported.
"Egypt welcomes Arab tourism and the government is working to remove all obstacles in this regard, including visa requirements," the news agency quoted Zaazou as saying.
A total of 11.5 million tourists visited Egypt in 2012, generating some $10 billion in revenue, according to Zaazou. The minister added that the government sought to attract 15 million tourists a year, in line with pre-revolution levels.
According to state-run statistics agency CAPMAS, Arab tourists spent roughly 337,000 nights in Egypt last year.
On Monday, Zaazou headed to the Iranian capital Tehran where he hopes to bolster Egypt's tourism ties with the Persian country.