Egypt is set to issue five-year multiple entry visas for $700, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities’ official Facebook page, in a bid to boost tourism.
Visas upon arrival will be granted at a cost of $25 to a number of countries, including China. Indians with a residency visa in the GCC region will also be eligible for a visa upon arrival.
“(The new decisions) come as part of a series of reforms implemented by the tourism ministry to streamline visa processes for tourists, Egypt’s Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Ahmed Issa, said during a press conference held on March 27. He added that measures are being taken towards increasing the influx of tourists to Egypt, including upgrading and increasing the number of resorts catering to individual travelers.
Fourteen projects have already been agreed upon with implementation expected to begin in the second half of 2023, he said.
Rapid growth of 25%-30% per annum is expected in the tourism sector, with the minister adding that airlines have already witnessed an increase in the number of booked seats on flights. Moreover, by 2028, the number of tourists predicted is 30 million.
Egypt’s Tourism Sector
Egypt’s tourism sector is one of its vital sources of income contributing to about 12% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to a report released by the data platform Trading Economic, in 2022. The sector also accounts for a significant segment of the workforce, as per a study conducted on the contribution of tourism to the Egyptian economy, published in 2020.
The past few years have seen tourism in Egypt hit by the pandemic, which hindered travel globally, and more recently by the Russia-Ukraine conflict with nationals from both countries being among the top visitors to Sharm El Sheikh, a majority tourist destination.
However, inbound tourism from other countries including France, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom rose, with Italians marking a 250% increase, The National reported, citing ministry data.
Despite hurdles, Egypt’s tourism sector has been on an upwards trajectory since the COVID-19 pandemic, with $13 billion registered in tourism revenue in 2021, an increase from $3.8 billion in 2020.
In 2022, Egypt registered 11.7 million inbound tourists visiting the country, as per a statement released by the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities in April. January and February of this year witnessed an increase of 35% in the number of tourists, compared to the same period last year.