Minister of Tourism - File photo Minister of Tourism - File photo

Egypt begins testing ‘e-visa’ for tourists

Sun, Jun. 11, 2017
CAIRO – 11 June 2017: A number of ministries and government agencies are piloting an electronic visa (e-visa) system. The trial phase was launched to expedite its implementation in response to recent instructions by the Supreme Council for Tourism, headed by President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

Minister of Tourism Yahya Rashed said in press statements Sunday that arrangements for applying the e-visa system were completed in coordination with line ministries including Foreign Affairs, Interior and Aviation. Rashed added that the e-visa system, implemented in accordance to the political leadership’s directives, is designed to attract more tourists to Egypt and to promote the tourism industry.

Rashed said e-visas will be granted at airports and ports for residents of the Gulf and the Maghreb countries. He said the ministry developed a comprehensive tourist agenda and promotional travel campaigns.

The e-visa will help ease the burden on both the security authorities and tourists visiting Egypt. Using this system, tourists will apply and pay for their visa online via a barcode that they will receive. After approval from Egyptian authorities, tourists will receive a copy of the visa electronically.

Mohammad Reza Dawood, Chairman of Lucky Tours and member of the General Assembly of the Tourism Companies Chamber, said the speed of issuing e-visas will attract more tourist traffic to Egypt from exporting countries. Chinese tourists who come to Egypt individually “suffer much” to obtain visas, he said, although their numbers have increased recently.

Ahmed Diasti, member of the General Assembly of the Chamber of Tourism Companies, estimated that when tourism companies apply the e-visa system, the expected revenues are estimated to reach 15 billion dollars per year. He further explained that the estimated revenues include visa fees as well as tourism programs and services. The e-visa system application is estimated to attract 10 million tourists to Egypt, on average .

Diasti also said that the e-visa will help attract more than 1,000 tourism companies currently engaged in religious tourism exclusively.
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