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Egypt imposes new restrictions on tourist visas

Citing national security, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry will no longer issue visas to individual travelers at ports of entry alarming Egypt's tourism sector.
A souvenirs vendor waits for tourists in front of the Sphinx and the Giza Pyramids on the outskirts of Cairo, December 9, 2014.  Egypt's tourism revenues jumped 112 percent to about $2 billion in the third quarter of 2014, a tourism ministry official said, suggesting the key industry was showing signs of recovery, albeit from a particularly bad third quarter last year. Tourism, an important source of foreign currency, has been hammered since the popular uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak in 2011.   REUTERS

Egypt needs to "revitalize its tourism sector," said Amr Sedky, deputy chairman of the tourism chamber’s board of directors. The sector was disrupted following the "January 25 Revolution of 2011, the subsequent strikes that plagued the country and after many countries imposed travel bans on Egypt."

Sedky’s statement came in response to a March 17 decision by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs requiring tourists to obtain visas prior to their arrival in Egypt. As of May 15, tourist visas will no longer be issued at Egyptian ports of entry. Egypt will only grant visas to tour groups organized by national tourism agencies.

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