Cairo airport (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Tourists returning home after a trip in Egypt will now be required to pay a $25 at Cairo International Airport, a tourism ministry official told Ahram Online.
Both Egyptians and foreigners will pay $4 as they leave Cairo on domestic flights.
The decision was issued by the country's aviation ministry, the source said. Accordingly, the exit fee is in payment for services provided to foreign travellers in the capital's airfield.
Some tourism officials have reacted strongly to the decision.
"The decision is unacceptable, particularly with an ailing tourism sector that seeks recovery," Adel Abdel-Razek, a member of Egypt's tourism chambers federation, told Ahram Online.
Egypt's tourism sector, which represents 11 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, has seen several blows since the 2011 January uprising.
However, Adel Zaki, an owner of a travel agency in Egypt, said he agreed with the decision.
"It's time for Egypt to get an appropriate return from visitors, but I think delaying it to be implemented in October will be better," Zaki said.
Visa fees for tourists coming to Egypt were increased last May to $20 – instead of $15.
According to Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou, the visa increase is slight and is not expected to affect the flow of tourists to the country as it is still amongst the cheapest worldwide.
The total number of tourists visiting Egypt in the first four months of 2014 reached 2.8 million, a 2.75 percent decline from the same period last year, according to official figures.