NOW EAST AFRICA IS DISCUSSING SINGLE TOURIST VISA IN ARUSHA
Ministers in charge of tourism dockets in Kenya, Tanzania , Uganda and Zanzibar are meeting in Arusha to discuss issues affecting the industry in the region. Among key issues to be discussed includes the single tourist visa, insecurity, disparities in fees charged and cross border cooperation in wildlife law enforcement.
A statement from the EAC secretariat says the five-day meeting will also agree on cooperation and support in addressing multi-lateral environment agreements.Efforts by the East Africa Community to market the region as an ideal tourist destination have been beset by various challenges hindering the process.
Key among them are requirements for multiple entry visa for visitors to partner states, denying entry of tourist vehicles registered in other partner states, harassment of driver guides at the border crossing into another partner state, disparities in fees charged, cross border cooperation in wildlife law enforcement, cooperation and support in addressing multi-lateral environment agreements.
Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda raised their concern on their tour operators being denied entry into either country in 3rd and 4th Meeting of the Sectoral Council on Tourism and Wildlife Management in February 2010 and in September, 2011.The EAC secretariat thus requested each partner state to present their issues in writing to the secretariat so as to enable coordination of the meeting between the three partner states.The Arusha meeting will also discuss how to effectively involve other sectors to improve and enhance cooperation in Tourism and Wildlife Management sectors in the community.A single tourist visa is expected to increase the number of tourists visiting the region since visitors will now pay 100 dollars for a 90-day multiple entry visa that takes them to all the three countries instead of 150 dollars that was required by each country.