GCC plans unified visas for tourists


The GCC is working on a plan to issue unified tourist visas for foreign visitors.

A recommendation to work out the modalities of issuing unified tourist visas for the six states has been made by GCC immigration officials, said a statement released by the GCC headquarters.

The plan, once implemented, will boost tourism in the Gulf at a time when tourist and business traffic to the United States and several European destinations have plummeted, said the statement.

Saudi Arabia alone issued some 6,546 tourist visas last year to foreign tourists in a new move to promote domestic tourism. This is in addition to Gulf nationals who seek domestic or regional trips.

A number of tourists from Japan, the United States, Germany, Spain and Britain have started visiting the Kingdom besides a growing number of Muslim pilgrims.

The GCC plan will allow foreign tourists to visit the whole Gulf holding a single visa. This will help generate billions of dollars in extra revenue for the Gulf countries, said the statement.

The statement said that the travel curbs on Gulf nationals visiting neighbouring countries will also be eliminated.