CATO ‘Shocked’ At Egyptian Visa Requirements, Calls For Flexibility

CATO has expressed its ‘shock’ over the new travel restrictions that Canadian tourists must face when traveling to Egypt.

As a result of the new requirements, Canadian travellers are no longer able to obtain a visa upon arriving in Cairo. Instead, they must request their visa in person at the Egyptian Embassy located in Ottawa or Montréal or send a postal application.

CATO points out that whether applying in person or by mail, these changes bring added and unwanted complexity for the traveller.

And it adds that this is clearly prohibitive for anyone. This new regulation is effective as of Oct. 1, 2023.

In a statement, CATO said that: “This change presents a significant issue for tourists who are leaving in October and will likely cause frustration for those departing later, especially for group travellers.”

It also states that: “These new restrictions could also potentially decrease the interest of many Canadian travellers and discourage them from visiting Egypt. These changes create barriers against selling Egypt to Canadian citizens, and CATO members have indicated an increased number of calls from worried travelers and travel agents due to these abrupt changes.”

The association said that it “hopes that the Egyptian Authority will understand the importance of Canadian business in Egypt and recognize the pivotal role that tour operators play as partners to the destination and its tourism business. CATO urges the government in Egypt to reconsider these restrictions and, if not upon arrival in Egypt, to at least allow an ongoing permanent online application form.”

CATO is also asking for more lead time with these changes.

Jean Hébert, Executive Director at CATO, said: “CATO is working hard to reach out to government officials and representatives at the Egyptian Embassy for a resolution to this situation that will benefit everyone impacted.”