Visa hike postponed to summer, Egypt’s foreign ministry informs envoys abroad

Egypt’s foreign ministry has informed its envoys abroad of a Cabinet order to postpone the introduction of a new hike in tourist visas until July.

In an official statement on Sunday, ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said the foreign ministry received orders from Prime Minister Sherif Ismail to delay raising the rate- from $25 to $60- until the summer.

The order was originally set to be implemented 1 March, but the tourism ministry announced on Saturday that the raise had been rescheduled.

Officials have not announced a reason for the delay, however sources in the tourism sector told Al-Ahram Arabic news website that the decision to postpone came after the foreign ministry stepped in to deal with complaints from the tourism sector to the cabinet saying the fee hike was too abrupt.

Egypt last increased its visa fee in April 2014, from $15 to $25.

Egypt has struggled to attract tourists scared off by the political turmoil that followed the 2011 uprising that ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

The country’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.

Source: Ahram online