After much confusion it has been confirmed that Egypt’s new visa rules have now been abolished. The Egyptian State Tourist Office has stated that the new regulations, which were set to change from May 15, have been abandoned. The tourist office said “Current visa requirements remain the same for both individuals and groups travelling to Egypt.” They also added that they have been talks of introducing an electronic visa system, but no dates have been agreed upon.
Abta, who work alongside the Egyptian authorities, have announced that they are happy with the decision as it will put an end to any confusion which means visitors will be able to travel to Egypt as normal without worrying about how the new ruling may affect them. Finally, we will keep you updated if there are any more changes so make sure you check for updates.
After months of conflicting information on Egypt’s new visa rules it seems changes will be going ahead, so if you are travelling to Egypt we have answered all of your questions.
What are the current visa rules?
As it currently stands, British citizens visiting the country’s mainland require a visa. This visa is given on arrival and those travelling to the Red Sea resorts of Sharm el Sheikh, Dahab, Nuweiba and Taba for 15 days or less receive a free entry stamp. However, those who plan to travel outside of the above areas or stay for a longer duration will need to pay for a visa. These visas can be purchased at Sharm el Sheikh Airport.
What has changed and why?
Individual tourists now require a visa before they travel. The difference is that the visa will need to come from an embassy, so solo travellers will no longer be able to pick their visas up upon arrival at the country’s airports. This new ruling has come about as an attempt to tighten security measures. Egypt is hoping to become much more vigilant by accessing individuals who visit, and in doing so, deter terrorists from travelling to the country. After the country’s political unrest over the last four years, this change is set to revive Egypt’s tourism industry.
Who will be affected?
This question has caused mass confusion across the travel industry over the last month, but all has been cleared up after a statement was released from Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism spokeswoman, Rasha Azaiz. The statement indicated that the new ruling would only have an impact upon independent tourists, which means holidaymakers who have booked through a tour operator or travel agent will not be affected.
Still not clear?
Rasha Azaiz added to her statement and said, “Those people handled by an operator or local ground-handler will not be affected: they need to be met by a ground-handler because that’s who will get the visas for them at the airport.”
When is it changing?
Changes will come into force from May 2015.
Will the new ruling put people off travelling to Egypt?
According to Rasha Azaiz the visa rule change will not have a negative impact on the amount of people travelling to the country because the majority of Egypt’s tourism comes from groups.
There seems to be some concern that the Egyptian tourist industry could suffer in light of the change as the confusion might put some people off travelling to the country.
Egypt plans to grow the amount of tourism to the country by generating $20 billion in revenue by 2020.
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