Egypt to end visas on arrival for all foreign tourists as of May 15
Group of tourists visit Egypt - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: Egypt’s Tourism Promotion Authority office in New York announced Friday Egypt would no longer offer visas upon arrival to any non-Egyptian wishing to travel to Egypt for tourism effective May 15, 2015.

“Individual tourists must obtain visas (from the Egyptian Diplomatic Mission) prior to their arrival to Egypt. No visas will be issued upon arrival to the country,” according to the statement.

The statement issued from New York states that groups who book travel through Egyptian Travel Agencies are exempt from this requirement, and may have the Egyptian company obtain the visa on their behalf. This statement, however, contradicts a message posted by the Egyptian Embassy in Paris on its website, which states that there are no exceptions for any foreigner, and all visas must be applied for in advance.

Multiple persons at Egyptian embassies and consulates, as well as officials at the local Tourism Promotion Authority were unable to comment.

The timing of the announcement coincided with the start of the Egypt Economic Development Conference held in Sharm el-Sheikh, the goal of which is to drum up investment in the Egyptian economy; tourism constitutes 11.3 percent of Egypt’s GDP, and until now has offered visas upon arrival for most western nations.

According to the travel and tourism competitiveness report published by the World Economic Forum in 2013, Egypt dropped 10 places in the global assessment to the 85th position.

“Why would the tourism authority issue such regulation now? Tourism in Egypt has witnessed a sharp decline in numbers of tourists visiting the country especially from the U.S. and North America, ”the chairman of a leading travel agency in Egypt spoke to The Cairo Post on the condition of anonymity.

North America accounts for 18 percent of annual incoming tourism to Egypt, according to the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism.

“Though North American tourists [from U.S.A and Canada] represent only 18 percent of Egypt’s annual incoming tourism, they have been topping the list of Egypt’s tourists’ expenditures during the past two decades,” said the Chairman.

According to the Central Bank of Egypt, tourism is ranked second in terms of most important sources of income for Egypt after remittances from Egyptians abroad, and is followed by income from the Suez Canal.

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  1. kim Taylor
    March 17, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    This must be a mistake SURELY the ministry of tourism is wanting to promote tourism and means to abolish the entry visa entirely in order to encourage tourists into Egypt.

  2. Indianarowz
    March 17, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    Not only will visitor numbers decline even more, but many stalwart visitors who have supported Egypt throughout the recent difficult times, will find this one step too far.

  3. Diane
    March 17, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    Disastrous news for tourism. It’s so unreliable – I speak from experience – people just won’t bother.

  4. John S
    March 17, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    This must be a joke, if it’s the case then screw my stopover in Cairo. Not worth the hassle to have to get a visa ahead of time.

  5. hany fayed
    March 18, 2015 at 12:16 am

    i think mistake for foreign ministry ,but i hope to any tourist can take it visa through tourism company
    booking on line to encourage increase tourist number

  6. fareed victor
    March 18, 2015 at 1:14 am

    this is the Egyptian way of marketing… buy at my shop, you get your ass covered! buy where else, pay me to cover your ass! listen up guys… it is Egypt’s reign

  7. Bob
    March 18, 2015 at 8:27 am

    It’s an old concept of self respect otherwise known as “Make an appointment!”

  8. khan
    March 18, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    I suggest they upgrade their current systems and improve their EFFICIENCY, and not making things more difficult for foreigners.

  9. mia mia
    March 18, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    I’m not a world traveler but it seems like they don’t want just anybody showing up. They must have their reasons.

  10. arie den toom
    March 18, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    for me it has to do with terrorism protection. They come alone in to the country of course.
    Just remember that Egyptians always have to get a visa in Cairo if they want to travel to any western country. Me myself have yo apply for a visa to visa to america or australia if I would like to go there so on the other side it is not that strange.

  11. Ahmed Salaam
    March 18, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    Good job Egypt! Your economy is dropping and you dragging it more downwards.

  12. Shirl Ali
    March 18, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    Egypt isn’t that same beautiful country with all the trash in the streets, doesn’t seem to me they would want to make it more of a hassle for visitors that are known to spend a fortune every year.

  13. Karim Razek
    March 19, 2015 at 6:19 am

    Tourists come to Egypt to see our heritage and experience our natural resources (sea, Nile, etc..) and NOT because Egypt offers entry visas on arrival.

  14. Karim RAZEK
    March 19, 2015 at 6:22 am

    Secondly, this will allow our authorities to run the necessary background checks on terrorist trash with international security agencies.

  15. Nermine
    March 19, 2015 at 6:32 am

    This is a safety issue not to
    So no one will get the tourisme we get the confirmation that he had no violation history or he’S hiding from the police or coming

  16. Eric Hansen
    March 19, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    wow, I don’t think I want to waste a single day making a trip to a consulate for a “visa”, it simply aint worth it. I’ll simply fly to S. Florida or Thailand instead.

  17. Isreal Shittstain
    March 19, 2015 at 10:32 pm

    Good for the
    Egyptians. Now, we change policy ,Make it easier to keep them out . Much easier and cheaper than building

  18. M. Elazhary
    March 20, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    nothing wrong about that , it happens almost everywhere
    it is like making an appointment and there is nothing difficult about it
    we do it when we want to visit any other country and so you have to

  19. Tisnoti
    March 21, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    The same thing happened in Turkey – they now have a website where you can pay for your visa online – much better than the old way of queuing up at the airport – hope Egypt go down this route too.

  20. Larry Edwards
    March 22, 2015 at 12:57 am

    We do not need any more hurdles to jump in order to spend our money in another country

  21. Tareq Mohandes
    March 25, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Announcing this coincidently with a congress about investement in Egypt is nonsense. It shows the absolute confusion of the current Egyptian (military) administration.

  22. Matthew
    April 8, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    I would appreciate a link to the full statement

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