Egypt to raise tourist visa fee by $5

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Egypt to raise tourist visa fee by $5

Post by DJKeefy » Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:34 pm

Visa fees for tourists coming to Egypt will increase starting May to reach $20 instead of $15.

According to Hesham Zazou, tourism minister, the increase is slight and is not expected to affect the flow of tourists to the country.

The decision to increase the cost of a tourist visa to Egypt was previously postponed several times. The decision was initially meant to be implemented in November 2013. It was then postponed to February 2014, and finally to 1 May.

According to the tourism ministry, Egypt’s visa is still amongst the cheapest worldwide.

The number of tourists visiting Egypt in the first two months of 2014 dropped 28 percent to 1.3 million in comparison to January and February 2013.

As the security situation in South Sinai has deteriorated under a growing militant insurgency, Germany issued a warning against travel to the peninsula.

Egypt’s revenues from tourism, a key source of foreign currency, dropped drastically after the 2011 revolution amid subsequent political instability and violence.

Source: http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/99689.aspx


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Re: Egypt to raise tourist visa fee by $5

Post by Chocolate Eclair » Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:59 am

I would have thought that any raise would have effected tourism, has it is there are very few people coming to Luxor and that is mainly due to the flights in and out, and the fact that, nobody will fly empty aircraft due to lack of seat sales, that would be financial suicide. You would have thought that the tourist industry would need a helping hand not another nail. Take a family of 4, the cost for the visa alone would be 80 USD plus because of no flight competition you could be talking between 3000 and 4000 sterling for a 2 week holiday. I base this on the fact that friends of ours paid 1760 sterling last March when they came via Egypt Air, there were no other flights available to them. You also have to remember that package holidays to Luxor nowadays are as rare as rocking horse droppings.

Presume also the yearly visa will go up also.

I remember a song by the Specials called "This place is looking like a ghost town"

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Re: Egypt to raise tourist visa fee by $5

Post by Glyphdoctor » Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:58 am

21 years ago when I first came here the visa cost $15 and I don't know how many years before that it already cost that much. At that time flights and probably tours were more expensive too than they are now.

But I knew someone would bitch about this increase.

What concerns me is that it seems to have been announced rather last minute. I would be concerned that tourists would arrive expecting to pay $15 and not have the right cash in hand or wrongly believe they were being tricked.

It's failing to gradually increase the prices of things like visas, benzene, bread etc. in this country that has gotten us into the current financial crisis.

They say we need $5 billion to get the electricity grid up to speed to handle all the electricity demands you new air conditioner owners plan to put on the grid this summer. Where is it supposed to come from?

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Re: Egypt to raise tourist visa fee by $5

Post by newcastle » Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:20 am

I don't know how many people 'bitch about the visa charge - existing or new - but many tourists feel they are "ripped off" at the airports by tour companies charging a premium on the face price.

The problem is that the airports seem ill-prepared to deal with a plane load and don't have adequate points-of-sale. At Hurghada I tell people to go to the bank kiosk (where you'll only pay $15....soon to be $20) but this can involve fighting your way past the tour company reps.

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Re: Egypt to raise tourist visa fee by $5

Post by carrie » Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:28 am

I agree Newcastle but at least you can get a visa on arrival and not have to apply for it before you travel, should be made easier at the airport keep all the touts out, not a good introduction to the country when you are pounced on by them as soon a you arrive.

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Re: Egypt to raise tourist visa fee by $5

Post by HEPZIBAH » Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:35 am

I agree that it's bad timing - but only that it should have been better publicised earlier so that people who have already done their homework on this i.e read up about visa charges etc have a better chance of knowing what is actually right.

Quick maths tells me that in sterling at the moment the new price is still cheaper than it has been on the odd occasion when I've visited in the past. People on travel sites would often say that the $15 dollars was equal to £10 - £15 and the new charge of $20 still falls within that range.

I don't see this as a particularly negative step. What will be negative is if the 'reps' put up their prices further. If only they could be kept away from visitors until after immigration life would be much less hassle!
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Re: Egypt to raise tourist visa fee by $5

Post by Glyphdoctor » Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:50 am

You pay for an all-inclusive trip then you pay more for something than if you did it on your own.

Imagine if instead of the rep going and buying all the visas at once for the whole group, 250 people had to line up to buy their visas individually, some who might not have the right change, etc. The whole group would be delayed in getting out of the airport. If you don't want these services, then organize the trip yourself rather than buying a package.

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Re: Egypt to raise tourist visa fee by $5

Post by HEPZIBAH » Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:00 am

If the visa were part of the 'package' it would be included in the initial fees. Alternatively, the correct price to pay to the 'rep' (using that term loosely) on arrival would be given. Often when you buy a package deal you can book for the company to get your visa for you but that is usually in advance by sending your passport to them etc. Of course this costs more, just as buying a visa in advance from the Embassy yourself does.

What is happening - you only have to read travel forums like TA to be well aware of this - is that many visitors are not being fairly treated over the choice and price of purchase of a visa. The 'reps' are not adverse to trying to sell independent travellers a visa at a hiked price either! In addition, it is not unusual, on incoming flights from the UK, that crew will announce incorrect prices for visa on arrival. Better they say nothing.
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Re: Egypt to raise tourist visa fee by $5

Post by Brian Yare » Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:05 am

$15 or $20 is very cheap for a Visa anywhere. Being able to acquire it on arrival is a bonus. I for one (and for once) am not going to complain about this sensible increase.

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Re: Egypt to raise tourist visa fee by $5

Post by A-Four » Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:35 am

Brian Yare wrote:$15 or $20 is very cheap for a Visa anywhere. Being able to acquire it on arrival is a bonus. I for one (and for once) am not going to complain about this sensible increase.
After that sweeping statement Brian, you better sit down and have a nice cup of tea, with added sugar. :wi .

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Re: Egypt to raise tourist visa fee by $5

Post by Brian Yare » Thu Apr 24, 2014 10:51 am

A-Four wrote:
Brian Yare wrote:$15 or $20 is very cheap for a Visa anywhere. Being able to acquire it on arrival is a bonus. I for one (and for once) am not going to complain about this sensible increase.
After that sweeping statement Brian, you better sit down and have a nice cup of tea, with added sugar. :wi .
For me there is no such thing as a nice cup of tea, so I'll have a coffee instead.

The increase to $20 does not even bring the price in LE to pre-revolution levels. :!:

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Re: Egypt to raise tourist visa fee by $5

Post by Grandad » Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:47 pm

At around £13 sterling it is still cheap and hardly cause for complaint. Even at the $15 level travel companies were charging up to about £40 to obtain a visa 'in advance' which is extortionate. They give the impression that your visa is all sorted before you arrive, and not that you still have to queue to get your passport stamped.

No objection to Egypt increasing the price.....serious objections if the travel companies also increase their price. (But WE never use them so no probs for us)

If visitor numbers are SO down to mainland Egypt but fairly good to Sinai, why don't they introduce a visa entry charge there? (Or am I out of date and they already have?)
Grandad :gg:

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Re: Egypt to raise tourist visa fee by $5

Post by Brian Yare » Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:57 pm

Grandad wrote:If visitor numbers are SO down to mainland Egypt but fairly good to Sinai, why don't they introduce a visa entry charge there? (Or am I out of date and they already have?)
My understanding is that the 'no visa for South Sinai resorts' was part of the deal when Sinai was returned to Egypt (the anniversary is today). Or maybe it was in the Camp David agreement?

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Re: Egypt to raise tourist visa fee by $5

Post by HEPZIBAH » Fri Apr 25, 2014 5:51 pm

Brian Yare wrote:
Grandad wrote:If visitor numbers are SO down to mainland Egypt but fairly good to Sinai, why don't they introduce a visa entry charge there? (Or am I out of date and they already have?)
My understanding is that the 'no visa for South Sinai resorts' was part of the deal when Sinai was returned to Egypt (the anniversary is today). Or maybe it was in the Camp David agreement?

I think it was part of the Camp David agreement.
The question over needing a visa or not for places like Sharm el Sheik is regularly asked in travel forums and is often incorrectly or insufficiently answered. People going there just assume they don't need a visa and then get in a strop because they are going on a trip to an place, not that far away, that requires one.
Then you get people who because they've been to somewhere like Sharm adamant when the advise their friends, e.g going on a Nile Cruise, that no visa is needed. It all gets very silly and unnecessarily complicated.
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Re: Egypt to raise tourist visa fee by $5

Post by carrie » Fri Apr 25, 2014 9:30 pm

My first visit to Egypt was with Kuoni, they told me that they would obtain my visa for me for a cost of only 42 english, this was years ago. I did send off my passport to them and it was returned with the visa. So and increase of 5 dollars is still cheap to what the travel companies are charging, and that money is not finding it's way into the Egyptian Gov, coffers.

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Re: Egypt to raise tourist visa fee by $5

Post by Chocolate Eclair » Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:16 am

It seems has though the visa's are costed at prices that only tourists could pay anyway, there are local people struggling to earn 200le per month

i think I am right in saying there are still resorts in Egypt that you do not need a visa to go to in which case maybe the tourists will look these places up. Remember all tourists are looking for a bargain (T in C) A4 I think you will understand what I am saying... :lol: :lol: Not directed at your good self sir......

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Re: Egypt to raise tourist visa fee by $5

Post by BENNU » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:31 am

Chocolate Eclair wrote:It seems has though the visa's are costed at prices that only tourists could pay anyway, there are local people struggling to earn 200le per month
Oh, but I saw last time that they have dual pricing - the locals only pay $ 2.

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Re: Egypt to raise tourist visa fee by $5

Post by carrie » Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:33 am

Why would any one but a tourist need a visa, the local people live here, it is their country they don't need a visa to enter their own country.

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Re: Egypt to raise tourist visa fee by $5

Post by HEPZIBAH » Sat Apr 26, 2014 2:17 pm

Chocolate Eclair wrote:It seems has though the visa's are costed at prices that only tourists could pay anyway, there are local people struggling to earn 200le per month

i think I am right in saying there are still resorts in Egypt that you do not need a visa to go to in which case maybe the tourists will look these places up. Remember all tourists are looking for a bargain (T in C) A4 I think you will understand what I am saying... :lol: :lol: Not directed at your good self sir......
As has been indicated already, it is the area of the Sinai including Sharm El Sheik, Dahab, Taba and Nuweiba that is exempt from the need for a visa for UK, USA and EU visitors. However this exemption is only valid for 14 days. Visitors still have to go through immigration and get a stamp. If they want to go out of the area they have to get a normal $15 tourist visa either on entry to the country or once there which can be a bit more difficult and time consuming as I understand it involves going back to the airport.

Not all nationalities require a visa to enter Egypt but many nationalities have to apply for, and get, their visa prior to arrival.
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Re: Egypt to raise tourist visa fee by $5

Post by BENNU » Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:50 pm

HEPZIBAH wrote: it is... exempt from the need for a visa for UK, USA and EU visitors...
I have spent enough time among expats in Luxor to know that UK is not Europe :D but I thought that you guys were still members of the union..? :? ;)

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