CAIRO: Egypt’s government decided to freeze a decision that would require visitors to obtain visas in advance, a tourism ministry official told Daily News Egypt.
“The decision would have had a very negative effect on the tourism sector,” Omayma El-Husseini, Egypt’s tourism ministry spokesperson told DNE.
El-Husseini pointed out that the ministry was doing what it can to work with other nations in order to facilitate easy travel for tourists.
The decision was cancelled after the Minister of Tourism Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour talked with the Cabinet to freeze it.
Although the new decision was just passed Thursday of last week, it did not take long for public outcry and criticism to pressure the government into changing it.
The Cabinet spokesperson Mohamed Hegazy had announced that Egypt would require all visitors coming from United States, Europe, Australia, the Gulf Counties, Africa, Asia, and Latin America to obtain visas from their respective embassies in consulates prior to traveling to Egypt, instead of obtaining it at the airport upon arrival.
The public as well as officials in tourism ministry were concerned the new move might cripple tourism at a time when Egypt has already been seeing a decline in the sector after the January 25 uprising.
Egypt’s finance minister said in August that tourism was showing signs of recovery and is expected to contribute $10 billion in revenues this year.