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East Africa agree on free movement of tourists

October 14, 2016 2:26 pm

East African ministers of tourism have agreed to revitalise free movement of tourists through the promotion of a single tourism visa for Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.east-africa-agree-on-free-movement-of-tourists

This will ease travel woes for both local and foreign visitors. Kenya’s tourism minister Najib Balala said on Wednesday that the ministers from the three countries met in Kenya from October 9 to 11 to discuss promoting the region as a single travel destination in order to attract foreign visitors and encourage domestic tourism.

“The biggest bottleneck we faced was ensuring the free movement of people using their national identity cards,” Balala told reporters in Nairobi after attending the opening of the Magical Travel Expo, an annual travel promotion event in Nairobi.

Heads of State from the East African Community (EAC) agreed to launch the regional initiative to ease the free movement of people across the region using the national identity documents in 2014. The free movement of people is part of the region’s customs territory, one of the pre-requirements for the launch of an East African Federation, which is still in the planning process.visas-east-africa

The countries of the region also agreed to release the region’s single visa, known as the uni-visa, allowing tourists to enter each of the states.

“The single visa has received low numbers because of the lack of awareness,” Balala said.

At least 4,000 tourists have used the uni-visa since it was launched as an initiative to promote tourism to the EAC as a single destination.

Tanzania, an international tourism hotspot, and Burundi, have opted out of the single tourism visa initiative, citing lack of benefits. Balala said the rest of the EAC countries were still hoping the Tanzanian and Burundian governments would see the benefit of the joint tourism marketing initiatives. The Kenyan tourism minister said to effectively compete with foreign exotic locations such as the Caribbean Island states, the region needs to work together to attract tourists internationally, using the various tourist attractions and products available regionally.

Author: Gesture Chidhanguro

East Africa agree on free movement of tourists Reviewed by on . East African ministers of tourism have agreed to revitalise free movement of tourists through the promotion of a single tourism visa for Kenya, Uganda and Rwand East African ministers of tourism have agreed to revitalise free movement of tourists through the promotion of a single tourism visa for Kenya, Uganda and Rwand Rating: 0
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