Egypt puts off higher entry visa charges until July 1

CAIRO (AP) " Egypt's plans to more than double charges for entry visas paid by foreign visitors arriving in the country have been put off until July 1, according to the Tourism Ministry.

A ministry statement late on Saturday gave no other details, but Egyptian officials explained that the postponement was made at the request of leaders of the tourism sector who warned that introducing the higher charges now " from $25 up to $60 " would further hurt the struggling industry as the off-season approaches.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

Egypt's vital tourism industry has been decimated after Islamic militants downed a Russian airliner over the Sinai Peninsula in October 2015, killing all 224 people on board. The crash prompted Russia to suspend all air links to Egypt and Britain to halt flights to Sharm el-Sheikh, a popular Red Sea resort in Sinai from which the doomed Russian airliner took off shortly before it crashed.

The sector has, however, shown signs of slow recovery since the beginning of the year.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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