Starting May 15 every international tourist’s path to seeing Egypt’s pyramids will begin with a trip to his or her local Egyptian consulate to obtain a visa.
Egypt’s ministry of foreign affairs announced this week that anyone who wants to enter the country for tourism purposes needs to apply for and receive a visa before they arrive in the country. This move will likely hinder the tourism rebound Egypt hoped for following its Arab Spring uprising in 2011 and subsequent political unrest. Europeans and Americans could previously get their visas when they arrived at an Egyptian airport.
Egypt instituted the same visa policy in September 2011 but suspended it three days after Egyptian citizens protested it would hurt the nation’s tourism economy. The Egyptian government hopes tourism will generate $20 billion a year by 2020 by attracting 20 million visitors.
Indonesia moved in the opposite direction this week and will soon roll out a more open visitor policy allowing 30 additional countries to enter without a visa, including the U.S., China, and many European countries. Australians were notably slighted from the list due to Australia still requiring visas of Indonesians and growing tensions between the two countries.