Visas for Egypt

By | Category: Travel news

pyramids-22smallSome might accuse Egypt of shooting itself in the foot as it struggles to attract more tourists to the Nile. It has decided that unless you are part of an “organised group” you will have to get a visa from embassies before you travel.

Up until now, you landed went into the arrivals hall (in Cairo, at least) and queued up for a visa. Nice and easy. Not now, Like India which wants more travellers from the UK as well, now you will have to trot to the contact the embassy. Unlike India, it doesn’t look as though you will have to visit the embassy, just apply in advance of your visit so that embassy  can check that you aren’t an human rights activists, who have been critical of some of the actions of Egypt’s crackdown on Islamists and liberalists or maybe an Al Jazeera journalist in disguise!.

The new rules start on May the 15th.

Tourist groups will still be able to obtain visas on arrival.

Given that it is the Nile regions that need an upsurge in visitors – the Red Sea resorts have not suffered much in the downturn – why is that you have to pay $25 is you land at an airport other than those in the Red Sea area? Go to Sharm or Daba and you get a free visa for up to 15 days. Go to Cairo, Luxor or Alexandria and you pay.

But as the Egyptians say, most people travel as groups packaged together by tour operators and those will be unaffected. It is only individuals who plan their own travel and pick their own hotel and travel arrangements that will be affected. But then, doesn’t Egypt want more of these types of people as well?

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