Egypt to delay visa price-hike after tourism sector complaints

Egypt to delay visa price-hike after tourism sector complaints
Egyptian officials say that visa-prices will not be hiked until July after leaders of the tourism sector expressed concern that doubling existing costs immediately would keep tourists away
2 min read
26 February, 2017
Despite efforts Egypt's tourism sector has struggled following the 2011 revolution [AFP]

Egypt has pushed back plans to more than double entry visa charges for foreign visitors, according to officials who spoke with The Associated Press late on Saturday. 

Egypt had appeared set to hike the cost of tourist visas up to $60, more than double the current price with leaks from Egyptian airport authorities suggesting that the change would be brought into effect on 1 March.

However Egyptian authorities - who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity - said that the price-hike had been rescheduled to begin on 1 July.

They said that the delay has come following requests from leaders of the country’s tourism sector who hazarded that introducing the higher charge now, during the tourism low season could detrimentally impact the sector, and keep tourists away.  

Immigration authorities, the Tourism Companies Chamber and port authorities are said to have been told of the decision this week, but there has not yet been an official statement from the foreign ministry.

An all-time high of around 15 million visitors in 2010 led many Egyptians to invest heavily in the tourism trade, but visitor numbers have never returned to those heights.

But instability following the 2011 has since discouraged many foreign travellers. In particular tourism revenues dropped dramatically after militants downed a Russian airliner over the Sinai Peninsula in October 2015, killing all 226 people on board.

The sector has, however, shown signs of slow recovery since the beginning of the year.

(Agencies contributed to this report)