As part of an endeavor to boost tourism and secure 30 million visitors annually, Egypt announced on Monday certain measures under the emergency visa system.
The measures give citizens of China and India, and certain segments of the Turkish population, the possibility to obtain a visa upon arrival through one of the Egyptian ports, while allowing citizens of Iran and Israel to enter certain regions of the country with a visa upon arrival, but after coordination with tourism companies.
In a press conference on Monday, Egypt’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Ahmad Essa said that the new system would allow Chinese citizens to obtain a single-entry visa upon arrival through the various Egyptian ports and airports.
He added that citizens of India will also be allowed to obtain an emergency visa upon arrival, if they have residency in the Gulf countries, or have an entry visa to the United States, Britain, the European Union, Australia or New Zealand.
According to the new facilities, an emergency visa is granted upon arrival to tourists coming from the Arab Maghreb countries (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia).
As for Israel and Iran, the minister said that their citizens would be allowed to enter certain areas in Egypt, in coordination with tourism companies, where they can obtain an emergency visa upon arrival.
Essa added that the visits of Iranian tourists were limited to the cities of South Sinai, while Israeli citizens were allowed to visit the cities of the Red Sea and Hurghada.
Moreover, citizens of Türkiye, with the exception of some segments, will be granted an entry visa at Egyptian airports, instead of obtaining it at the Egyptian embassy in their country, according to the minister.
Under the system, emergency entry visas will be given to Iraqi tourists upon their arrival at Egyptian ports and airports, provided that they have a valid visa to enter America, Britain, or European Union countries. This does not apply, however, to Iraqi tourists under 16 and over 60, who will have to obtain electronic visas to enter the country.
The minister also revealed the approval of issuing a multiple-entry visa for a period of five years, with a $700 fee, for citizens of 180 countries.
Tourism expert Ahmed Abdelaziz said the new measures announced by the Egyptian government were aimed at “reviving tourism” and attracting more visitors, but called for more steps.
Egypt aims to increase tourist visitation rates by up to 30 percent annually. In this context, Essa said: “The ministry has begun implementing a national strategy for the advancement of the sector, which relied on three axes."
Those include improving the tourism experience, supporting aviation, and strengthening the investment climate.
“The ministry aims to double spending on museums and antiquities, to improve the tourism experience, and to reach 30 million tourists annually by 2028,” the minister underlined, expecting the number of tourists during 2023 to reach 15 million.