Single visa for East Africa trio
THE East African Community (EAC) aims at marketing the region as a single tourism destination in a bid to boost tourism earnings in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania while cementing economic and political ties.
Kenya Times reported EAC deputy secretary general, Kipyegon Cheluget, as saying that a single regional body to be known as East African Tourism and Wildlife Conservation Agency (EATWCA) will collectivise tourism operations in the region.
Part of this process is the issue of a single East African tourist visa that can be issued by an embassy of any of the three states. Currently, embassies of each country issue single visas. Such a visa would greatly help agencies and tour operators that market and plan visitor itineraries under a single package. The move will also contribute greatly to domestic travel.
The East African reported that that the EAC Secretariat, which is co-ordinating the move, wants this visa approved before November’s World Travel Market in London.
Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda all depend on wildlife tourism, which attracts 75 per cent of tourists.
The new agency will be mandated to maximise the sector’s returns through the protection of wildlife resources from illegal use and practices and be responsible for classification of the region’s tourism facilities.