Foreign media, Egyptian Media, Travel Agents, Tour Companies not to mention some of the frequent visitors to Egypt – many seem to be up in arms over the new law that comes into effect on 15 May 2015. The law says a visitor to Egypt has to get their entry visa from the Egyptian Embassy in their own country before travelling. “What is wrong with that?” you might ask. “Nothing” is the appropriate answer – except that til now Egypt has tried to facilitate easy entry for tourists by allowing them to purchase a visa stamp at Airports upon entry, without the need to fill up any forms.
My response to the new law is “it should have been done a long time ago!”. Egypt needs to protect it’s borders for obvious reasons. But this law is for more than that – it means that foreigners will no longer be able to travel as a tourist to Egypt and from there to Iraq, Syria etc. Countries around the world are trying to prevent their own citizens travelling to those countries to join terrorist organisations, one natural route would be through Egypt – that route will now be closed. Anyone have a problem with that?
It also means that Egypt will know who is visiting their country and have the facility to prevent known terrorists or trouble makers entering Egypt – anyone have a problem with that? Tourists should certainly feel safer and anyone working in the tourist industry should also feel their future is being protected.
As for those concerned about last minute trips to Egypt…don’t worry the companies offering late deals will catch on quickly enough and date their offers appropriately. I doubt there are that many tourists actually doing that at this stage anyway.
IF A GENUINE TOURIST IS GOING TO VISIT EGYPT
HE IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE HIS MIND BECAUSE HE HAS TO GET AN ENTRY VISA FIRST!
Finally, people working the tourism field in Egypt need to control their ‘knee-jerk’ reaction every time there is some kind of change in Egypt that we perceive as affecting our business. Change is not ALWAYS bad and anyway it is the natural order of things, change is guaranteed and cannot be stopped. Better to think how best to go with the flow and relax than crack and go fighting against everything! Remember guys – every cloud has a silver lining 🙂
UPDATE 06.04.2015 The law has been postponed for the moment pending implementation of electronic visa app system – more details