File photo of yacht port in one of Egypt's Red Sea tourist cities. Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation
This move is part of the state’s efforts to remove all obstacles facing foreign yacht tourists along the Egyptian coasts and to promote yacht tourism, the Ministry of Transport said in a statement on Tuesday.
The extension is particularly useful for people who may be prevented from leaving Egypt within their visa period by unexpected circumstances such as bad weather, technical malfunctions or natural disasters, the transport ministry explained.
To facilitate the process, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has instructed Egyptian embassies and consulates to grant yacht tourists three-month tourist visas instead of the previous one-month visa.
On Saturday, the foreign ministry announced that tourist yachts can now apply for and receive their visas through a specialised online portal.
Through the Yacht Single Window, foreign yachts can apply for and receive their visas within 30 minutes, with fees paid in US dollars.
Yachts can also now enjoy the flexibility to leave Egypt from any tourist port, not only the port where they first arrive as was the rule under the previous system.
Egypt’s unique geographical position with waterways linking three continents - Asia and Africa to Europe – provides the country with great potential for yacht tourism.
The country's coastlines extend for 2,400 kilometres along the Mediterranean and Red Seas, with 23 developed tourist ports able to receive yachts.
Egypt's tourism sector, an important source of hard currency, expects to receive 15 million tourists in 2023. If the figure is met, it will break the record of 14.7 million tourists set in 2010.