Drastic measures, which may include the abolition of entry visas for visitors from Russia, were proposed by the Committee on Tourism and Civil Aviation of the Egyptian Legislative Assembly, MP Mohammed Massoud. “Measures are needed to support tourism in Egypt. Visas for Russian tourists could be canceled for a while in order to attract them to Egypt and thereby contribute to the development of the Egyptian economy, ”he told local media. He also called on the Egyptian tourism authorities to train hotel personnel and develop hotels in anticipation of the return of Russian tourists.
Recall that at the beginning of the year, talks about the cost of a visa went in a different direction — only in March, Egypt refused to increase the cost of tourist visas, which it recently announced — the Minister of Tourism of the Arab Republic of Egypt Yahya Rashid announced that the cost of visas would remain at $ 25. At the same time, on February 24, a decree was promulgated to increase the cost of a tourist visa to Egypt by 2.5 times from March 1. The document stated that the price of a single entry visa would rise from $ 25 to $ 60, and a multiple entry visa — up to $ 70 — a completely unacceptable price for this tourist destination. Presumably, the reason for such measures could be the need to get at least some funds from tourists, the number of which has dropped sharply over the past year. However, the local tourism industry reacted with strong protests. As a result, the Egyptian authorities postponed the increase in the cost of entry visas from $ 25 to $ 60 on July 1, 2017.
Even then, experts said that such a decision could become another serious blow to the country’s tourism sector, so they expressed confidence that the promised price increase would eventually be canceled altogether, which, in fact, happened.
“For Egypt, any rise in visa prices will affect the tourist flow for the worse, since its main competitors in the market, and in the first place Turkey, are minimizing visa barriers. Now the Emirates have also given a free electronic visa. Taking this into account, $ 60 for a visa to Egypt will greatly reduce the attractiveness of this destination in the eyes of tourists and negatively affect the tourist flow, «Sergei Zalivin, executive director of the Egyptian host company» ALS-tour «, told TURPROM newsgroup correspondent earlier.
The second problem is that it will be problematic for Egypt to attract the Russian market upon its return with low hotel prices: “The prices of Egyptian hotels have dropped significantly since the last revolution, and since then, hotels have been operating in dollar terms on the verge of prime cost, as competition did not allow them to increase. Therefore, the pricing policy is likely to remain unchanged even now, ”commented Sergei Zalivin.
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