Egypt’s strange visa decision

The Egyptian government is planning to stop issuing visas for tourists on arrival: Tourists "will have to apply at embassies and consulates for visas," he said. Tourists from many states, especially Western countries whose nationals contribute the bulk of Egypt’s vital tourism revenues, are still allowed to obtain visas on arrival until the new regulations ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images
KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images
KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images

The Egyptian government is planning to stop issuing visas for tourists on arrival:

Tourists "will have to apply at embassies and consulates for visas," he said.

Tourists from many states, especially Western countries whose nationals contribute the bulk of Egypt's vital tourism revenues, are still allowed to obtain visas on arrival until the new regulations are in place.

The Egyptian government is planning to stop issuing visas for tourists on arrival:

Tourists "will have to apply at embassies and consulates for visas," he said.

Tourists from many states, especially Western countries whose nationals contribute the bulk of Egypt’s vital tourism revenues, are still allowed to obtain visas on arrival until the new regulations are in place.

"We want to regulate entry," said Higazi, adding that he could not say when the new instructions will be passed on to airport officials.

"We are asked for visas everywhere and it is our right to ask for visas. No airport in the world would give me a visa on arrival," he said.

Tourism accounts for about 7 percent of Egypt’s GDP, but the sector has been hit hard since this year’s revolution. Even with a planned exception for group tours, this doesn’t really seem like the best way to convince jittery travelers to return. 

Obtaining visas in advance is enough of a hassle for countries that aren’t major tourist destinations. When you’re talking about a country that, in a good year, can draw up to 9.7 million visitors, I’d imagine we’re going to see some pretty overwhelmed consulates. 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

Tag: Egypt

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