A large number of Tunisians have been angered by Egypt’s recent decision to intensify visa procedures for citizens of North African countries.
The decision comes after the release of an official document on social media websites on Friday, in which the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that Egypt’s Ministry of Tourism will enforce new measures on the citizens of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia who want to obtain a tourist visa.
The regulations include providing a bank statement proving that citizens have no less than $2,000 in their account, as well as a certificate verifying their occupation.
Citizens of those three countries must also provide confirmations on airline tickets and hotel rooms, as well as a representative from a travel agency who must confirm the tourists’ departure immediately after the end of their visit.
Egypt’s “tough” regulations have caused some Tunisians to call on authorities to impose similar procedures on Egyptian citizens, while others have called for a complete boycott of Egypt’s tourist destinations.
In a Facebook post, Tunisian Journalist Amira Mohammed wrote: “Is this how Egypt is trying to encourage tourism? Do you think the people of the Maghreb are thinking of immigrating to Egypt or staying there illegally? Tunisia must reciprocate.”
Activist Mohammed Ali Ammari added that this decision “is not right and will hurt the tourism sector in Egypt”, especially since Egypt is “the cheapest [destination] for middle-class Tunisians and citizens of the Maghreb who travel to the country in large numbers.”
He said that “the time has come for citizens of the Maghreb to look for other travel destinations that do not impose impossible conditions on us.”