Vacation in the land of the pyramids has become cheaper. New rules have come into force in Egypt, according to which Russian tourists are exempted from paying a visa fee of $ 15.
The new rules came into force on June 11, 2012 and will remain in effect until August 31, 2012. At the same time, the head of the state organization for the development of tourism in Egypt, Omar al-Izbi, does not exclude that the validity of these rules will be extended. The procedure for obtaining a visa has not changed. She, as before, is placed at the airport for a period of 30 days and 15 days on the Sinai Peninsula. The new rules apply to Russian citizens traveling in organized groups, in other words, to those who have purchased a ticket from a tour operator.
The exemption of foreign citizens from paying visa fees is aimed at facilitating the procedure for entering Egypt and ensuring an increase in the number of tourists. The main competitors of the direction have already taken steps to increase the tourist flow from Russia, the time has come for Egypt to take these steps.
The tourism sector in Egypt is one of the main sources of income and accounts for over 10% of the country's GDP. The difficult political situation in Egypt in 2011 significantly reduced the number of tourists: from 14.5 to 10 million. In this regard, budget revenues have also decreased: by more than $ 4 billion.
Today, one of the main tasks of the Egyptian authorities is to restore the confidence of foreign tourists and re-attract them to local resorts. The abolition of the visa fee for Russians is not the only measure to solve this problem. Tourists from a number of countries, such as Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Lebanon, India, Jordan, now have the opportunity to obtain an Egyptian visa upon arrival in the country of rest right at the airport. Previous rules for citizens of these countries required advance visa processing.
According to experts, the abolition of the visa fee is unlikely to lead to an increase in tourist flow from Russia. Nevertheless, the simplification of formalities will help the Egyptian authorities to demonstrate their interest in Russian tourists.