Egypt shelves plan for visas in advance for tourists
Monday 12 September 2011
Egypt said on Sunday that a proposed regulation asking tourists to obtain visas in advance had been shelved and that eligible visitors would still be issued with them on arrival.
Tourism Minister Munir Fakhri Abdel Nur said the proposal, announced on Friday, had been "cancelled" because it would have had a negative impact on tourism revenue, a major source of Egypt's income.
"Such a decision would have serious negative consequences on tourism in Egypt," he said, quoted by the official MENA news agency.
"No decision was taken, it was a simple proposal," he said about the earlier decision.
Government spokesman Mahmud Higazi told AFP on Friday that a new visa requirement had been proposed because "We want to regulate entry."
Tourists from many states, especially Western countries whose nationals contribute the bulk of Egypt's vital tourism revenues, are granted visas on arrival.
Tourism to Egypt's beach resorts and ancient sites is a key money earner and source of foreign currency, but it declined after the January and February revolt that overthrew president Hosni Mubarak.
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