Egypt has revisited its visa policy, leading to an accelerated recovery in tourism. As travel to the country has become easier, the visa agency e-Visa.co.uk expects Egypt to welcome a record number of visitors this year. Travellers are advised to book their trips on time this year, as there are likely to be few last-minute deals.
Egypt after the Covid-19 pandemic
As with many other countries, Egypt also temporarily closed its borders due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, because the tourism sector is very important to the Egyptian economy, it was a priority for the country to reopen its borders as soon as possible. Consequently, in 2020, Egypt was one of the first countries in the world to reopen its borders to foreign visitors. At the same time, strict hygiene measures were implemented to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Simplification of the visa policy
Simultaneously with the reopening of the borders, the visa on arrival and Egypt e-visa could also be applied for again. Both visas were also made available to travellers from 180 countries. This was an exceptional increase, as only 46 nationalities were eligible for both visas in 2019.
Because more nationalities are eligible for the e-visa, a larger number of travellers can apply for the Egypt visa from their homes. It is also possible to obtain a visa after arrival in Egypt, but the waiting times at the counters of the immigration service can be very long, especially during the high season. Before the visa procedure was expanded, travellers from the countries that have now been added had to visit the Egyptian embassy to apply for a visa. The revision of Egypt’s visa policy has thus made the visa application procedure significantly easier for many travellers.
Continued efforts to attract more tourists
In addition to simplifying the application procedure for the most popular tourist visas, Egypt is also trying to attract more international tourists to the country in other ways. Examples of this are:
- doubling of the capacity of flights and hotels,
- tightening of security measures at tourist attractions,
- opening the largest archaeological museum in the world,
- introducing a 5-year multiple-entry visa.
Record number of visa applications for Egypt
Egypt is one of the few countries in the world where tourism has fully recovered from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is in comparison to most other countries in the world, which are struggling to attract the same number of tourists as before the outbreak of Covid-19. In fact, Egypt is expected to surpass the annual number of tourists from before the Covid-19 pandemic this year.
According to the Egyptian government, the country welcomed 43% more travellers in the first quarter of 2023 as opposed to the same period in 2022. e-Visa.co.uk expects this growth to continue throughout the rest of the year. The visa agency processed 46% more applications in the first four months of this year than in the same period a year ago, a higher number than before the Covid-19 pandemic. Since most visa applications are submitted several months before the planned trip, these numbers are an indicator of the future growth of the number of travellers to Egypt.
Egypt’s approach as an example to other countries
The International Monetary Fund has recently advised several countries to ease their entry requirements to attract more tourists. The reason for this is that a simplified and clear visa policy has a positive effect on the number of tourists visiting a certain country. The growth in the number of tourists to Egypt after the Covid-19 pandemic supports this theory. Pleun Leijten, Manager Customer Relations at e-Visa.co.uk, said: "The exceptional growth in the number of visa applications to Egypt predicts an excellent holiday season for the country. The reliable application procedure to apply for this required visa for Egypt is therefore an example for other countries."
No last-minute deals this summer
The demand for travel is so high this year that the boards of both TUI and Ryanair, the leading travel operators, recently announced that they will not be able to offer last-minute bookings this year. This applies not only to Egypt but also to many other popular tourist destinations. Travellers are thus advised to book their holidays well in advance and apply for their visas well before departure.