Until the end of April, all Russian tourists will be exempted from paying visa fees at the Egyptian border. This order was issued by the Office of Migration Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt. At the same time, representatives of the local tourist business expect that this measure can raise the number of tours to Egypt bought in Russia by up to 20%. Experts of the Russian tourist industry assessed this measure rather as a «pleasant bonus», which will not directly affect the tourist flow. Nevertheless, the forecasts for the Egyptian direction as a whole are quite optimistic among tour operators.
According to the decree, from January 15 to April 30, 2015 inclusive, Russian tourists arriving on vacation in Egypt will not have to pay for a visa $ 25, which they paid upon arrival right at the border. As noted in the Department for Migration Affairs, this measure is aimed at encouraging tourism from Russia in the light of the currency crisis and a sharp fall in the ruble exchange rate.
According to the President of the Chamber of Tourist Companies Magdi Saleh, Russians provide about 50% of all foreign tourist traffic entering Egypt in recent years, however, the fall in the ruble against the US dollar negatively affected the influx of tourists from Russia — the tourist flow fell by almost half. He expects that this incentive measure will increase the number of tours purchased in Russia by 20%.
“A significant share of the tourist flow to Egypt is made by the“ budget tourist ”, and accordingly, the taken measure will really become a factor that positively affects the demand,” Elena Zakharova, PR-director of the tour operator Anex Tour, told the TURPROM information group. Egyptian travel agencies agree with this assessment. “Taking into account the fact that families usually go to Egypt, withdrawing the visa fee can save tourists a significant amount,” explained Sergey Zalivin, deputy director of the Egyptian host company ALS Tour.
However, the expert believes that this influence will not be significant and in itself will not give an increase — it will rather be a pleasant bonus for those who have already decided to go to Egypt, and will also prove the loyalty and interest of the Egyptian authorities in relation to Russian tourists and the travel market. A similar opinion was voiced in TUI. “This is a positive initiative of the Egyptian authorities, an indicator that Egypt is always committed to attracting Russian tourists. But this measure will not have a tangible impact on the flow of tourists, «- said the head of the Egyptian direction» TUI «Anastasia Ignatova. In addition, according to the expert, tourists vacationing in Sharm El Sheikh could have avoided paying the visa fee earlier if they did not leave the territory of the Sinai Peninsula during their vacation.
Egypt, according to experts, generally wins over most other tourist destinations due to its accessibility — both in terms of financial costs for recreation and transport. “Last year, tourists began to save money, to reorient from more expensive destinations to democratic Egypt, and this trend will continue in the near future,” said Anastasia Ignatova. According to the source, the tours were sold in the planned volume for the New Year holidays. Taking into account the optimization of the flight program, sales are stable even now. “Despite the ups and downs of last year, the flow of tourists to Egypt is recovering. And if in the autumn months we observed a decline in sales, then by December 24, the first “New Year” flight, we were able to ensure the full load of the aircraft, «said Elena Zakharova.
Sergei Zalivin also noted about the «calm» New Year, achieved by a slight decrease in volumes. “The crisis did not start suddenly, everyone was ready, they undertook some optimization. So, despite the fact that the New Year’s volumes were 30% lower than planned, the New Year holidays passed quite calmly, ”the expert summed up.
+20 106 930 3640 Contact us
Skype: Hurghada RedSeaLine