File photo of the Cairo International airport (AFP)
Egypt will introduce new electronic visas for tourists as of June in an attempt to attract more visitors and boost tourism in the country, according to the tourism ministry.
The new visa will be available for tourists from countries whose citizens require a pre-approved visa to travel to Egypt.
However, tourists whose citizenship allows them to obtain visas on arrival at Egyptian airports will not need to apply for the online electronic visa.
During a press conference on the sidelines of the Arabian Travel Market Exhibition – held in Dubai from 24 to 27 April – Egyptian tourism minister Yehia Rashed said there are promotional travel campaigns for Egypt that are expected to be launched soon in several countries, including European countries such as Italy.
Rashed said that the Egyptian Tourism Authority will also prepare campaign to target new markets, such as the Indian market.
"The upcoming visit by Roman Catholic Pope Francis to Egypt on Friday is a reassuring message to the world that Egypt is restoring its prominent place on the tourism map," he added.
The number of tourists visiting Egypt during the first quarter of 2017 rose by 51 percent compared to the same period last year, an official source at the tourism ministry told Ahram Online earlier this week.
Egypt's tourism revenues dropped to $3.4 billion in 2016, a 44.3 percent decline from the previous year, the Central Bank of Egypt said in January. The figure is a far cry from the $11 billion in revenues generated by the sector in 2010, when 14.7 million tourists visited the country.