POSTPONED: Egypt Visa On Arrival $60 Fee Increase Moved To July 1st 2017

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After plenty of outraged press reports Egypt’s Foreign Ministry announced that the introduction of their Visa on Arrival Fee Increase to US$60 will be postponed until July 1st 2017.

This gives travelers another 4 months room to breathe and not get caught cold in the immediate increase of this as was previously leaked when we wrote about it a couple days ago.

Based on the information we got this weekend, leaked by unnamed sources Egypt was planning to increase the Visa Fee to US$60 effective March 1st 2017 (see our article here).

This is a huge increase, more than doubling the existing fee and essentially just a money grab by the Egyptian government in times of huge instability.

AP (see here) now reported the postponement of these plans, at least for a few months.

Egypt’s plans to more than double charges for entry visas paid by foreign visitors arriving in the country have been put off until July 1, according to the Tourism Ministry.

A ministry statement late on Saturday gave no other details, but Egyptian officials explained that the postponement was made at the request of leaders of the tourism sector who warned that introducing the higher charges now — from $25 up to $60 — would further hurt the struggling industry as the off-season approaches.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

Egypt’s vital tourism industry has been decimated after Islamic militants downed a Russian airliner over the Sinai Peninsula in October 2015, killing all 224 people on board. The crash prompted Russia to suspend all air links to Egypt and Britain to halt flights to Sharm el-Sheikh, a popular Red Sea resort in Sinai from which the doomed Russian airliner took off shortly before it crashed.

The sector has, however, shown signs of slow recovery since the beginning of the year.

I can imagine that managers, owners and stakeholders of the tourism industry were not happy about this move which wouldn’t put a dime more in their pocket but rather puts a lot of people off. As if Egypt didn’t have enough of bad press recently.

Conclusion

Hard to say if this fee increase has any real impact on the amount of people coming into the country for tourism purposes. Of course visitors that come for business will go regardless but if it’s a voluntary trip then I can’t see the benefit for the country unless they speculate that people won’t care and just pony up.

Even though $60 isn’t that much considering the entire cost of a trip, in the very least it sounds like a lot to pay up $60 right upon arrival to get a stamp in your passport. The psychological impact of this measure is bigger than the financial one.

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  • colin

    Especially as Vietnam having lost Chinese tourists, introduced for temporary period , visa on arriival for UK, and 4 other countries AND halved the visa on arival purchase costs, now $25 not $50

    • Traveling on Finnish passport I have never needed a visa for Vietnam even when most nationals needed to apply in advance.

      I don’t mind paying for modest amount for visa on arrival when only other option would be to apply in advance at the embassy.

  • AlGreene

    Right now Egypt is a low cost holiday destination so 60$ IS a lot of money compared to the trip cost. I would rather go elsewhere or you just don’t go i.e. on an excursion so the locals will suffer again…

    • agreed, it’s a lot of money for package tourists on a budget, it can only hurt, certainly not help… Indonesia dropped their visa fees to increase tourism!

  • Gaijinsan

    The most annoying thing about the visa is that it takes up unnecessary space in your passport. They are not using their Visa program to vet potential problem visitors, it’s just a money grab. You just pay money at a counter and then head to immigration. Anyone can do it as long as you’re from the very extensive number of eligible countries. Though, they don’t mind if you peel the sticker and apply it in your passport yourself, so I just stick it over some old stamps anyway.

    Agree, the psychological effect of the cost increase is far greater than the “real” effect for most tourists. But it does put me off a bit. I didn’t care when it was $15 and still didn’t care so much when it was $25, though I strongly believe those types of visas are nothing more than a money grab for the country involved. $60 puts me off… not enough to prevent me from going, after all it is by FAR one of the cheapest beach resort destinations in the world (though the actual beach swimming sucks badly), but it’s now become annoying. It would be a lot more appropriate if they implemented multi-year multiple entry visas for frequent tourists like many other countries have done already, but having to buy a Single Entry every single time I go is annoying as I’m never there again within a 3 (or is it 6) month span, but have been there many times on these annoying single entry visas over the past 3 years for diving.

    • I need to go to visit those resort destinations some day in Egypt. The hotel prices both using points and cash are very inexpensive.

      • Gaijinsan

        I go for the diving. The last 2 times I’ve been there (Sharm & Hurghada), the towns have been absolutely dead. Tourists, for better or worse, are gone. I’ve stayed at Hilton properties each time and I will say, the prices are low but the quality leaves an awful lot to be desired. Keep expectations very low if you go to Hilton in Egypt, including the Conrad in Cairo.

        • I have been to Conrad Cairo and received a suite there. I think that it was ok. Had to leave the Hilton Ramses in the middle of the night because their internet wasn’t working. I believe that I moved myself to the IC.