In a breaking news fashion and with no advance notice Egypt apparently plans to more than double their Visa On Arrival fee from $25 to the new price of US$60 starting next Wednesday, March 1st 2017.
That new pricing is absolutely out of touch and will hit many travelers without preparation including yours truly as I was scheduled to fly to Cairo on March 2.
Not sure what’s in the head of the Egyptian authorities but multiple news sources including tourism industry newsletters just published that this new measure will come into effect on coming Wednesday.
One of these news outlets in English was News24 (access here).
Egyptian airport officials say that authorities are more than doubling the cost of entry visas for foreign visitors starting next week.
The officials said on Friday that foreigners will have to pay $60 per visa, up from $25 and $70 for multiple entry visas.
They added that banks and tour agencies received a notification from the Foreign Ministry about the new price hike, which will go into effect on Wednesday.
They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak to the press.
What kind of modus operandi is this? Indeed there are no official outlets like from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs whatsoever to inform people. Keep in mind that the Visa on Arrival in Cairo has to be purchased in cash foreign currency at the Exchange counters right in front of immigration. Not everybody carries US$60 or Euro equivalent in cash around just in case.
I live in Asia at the moment and either I use up remaining USD leftovers from my last trips or I have to exchange local currency into USD ahead of time.
To announce this measure more or less through a leak is not only poor form but proof of chaos and dysfunction of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry. Why would you subject visitors to such uncertainty, especially after the country has already suffered huge losses in tourism after the revolution and the downed Russian airliner.
We will keep an eye on this matter. I have a ticket to arrive in Cairo next Thursday where I already entertained the thought of not going all the way and instead hopping off in the Middle East. I think this pretty much seals the deal for me not to go to CAI, especially because the Tier Points earned for that short segment are very little and paying $60 plus deal with Cairo Airport isn’t a good trade off.