|Sphinx of Ramses II, Lake Nasser, Egypt|
The new move is sure to discourage tourism in a country that's dependent on the travel industry (by some estimates, 10% of all Egyptians work in the tourism sector). Reports of rising xenophobia in the country may also be behind the policy.
Though the Washington, DC Egyptian Embassy hadn't heard of the move when reporters queried officials there, government workers in Egypt have said that it will go into effect sometime this week. The new regulation does not affect those traveling with group tours, only independent travelers.
Editor's Note: Egyptian authorities have reversed themselves and have withdrawn a plan to require advance visa of solo travelers. Glad to see that smarter--and more business savvy--heads prevailed on this one.