Egypt launches 1st-ever digital platform for yacht tourism to leverage geographic advantage

Ahram Online , Wednesday 31 Aug 2022

The Ministry of Transport is set to launch on Thursday its first-ever online platform to regulate the entry of yacht trips in the country as part of a newly developed strategy to leverage the country’s unique strategic geographical location and long coastal lines.

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The new online platform will streamline and facilitate all procedures for the entry and exit of tourist yachts into the country, according to a transport ministry statement.

Through the platform, yacht owners can now submit the necessary data and documents to apply for entry, pay a fixed fees on all state-owned berths, passenger terminals and tourist ports, and receive invoices within three days of applications.

The new platform will also allow yachts to choose freely among moorings available at public commercial ports or at private marinas.

Last month, the cabinet issued a decree to establish a single online platform for foreign yachts titled Single-Window for Yacht Tourism under the supervision of the Maritime Transport Sector at the transport ministry.

The decree permits foreign yachts to depart from any tourist port or marina regardless of point of entry.

It also mandated the transport ministry to issue a unified code for the establishment and operation of moorings and ports nationwide.

The new online platform will be linked to the official websites of the Passports, Emigration and Nationality Department at the interior ministry as well as the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) to help passengers aboard yachts obtain an electronic entry visa in a smooth way.

The transport ministry is currently coordinating the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities to launch a marketing campaign to advertise tourist ports and marinas along the Egyptian coastlines with the aim of boosting yacht and ship tourism, the statement added.

The transport ministry also is coordinating with the finance ministry to introduce amendments to the bylaws of the Customs Law in order to issue permits for storage of foreign yachts.

Egypt’s unique geographical position with waterways linking three continents - Asia and Africa to Europe - provides the country with a great potential to increase yacht tourism.

The country's coastlines and waterways include  995 kilometres of coastline on the Mediterranean Sea south of Europe; 1,1941 kilometres of coastline on the Red Sea opposite Arabia; 72 kilometres of coastline on the international waterway of  Suez Canal; in addition to the Nile River that runs north to south - passing great Ancient Egyptian monuments in Upper Egypt.

A national plan has been implemented since August 2021 to raise the efficiency of existing ports and marinas as well as to construct new ones in areas important to tourism.

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