Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda have waived visa fees for foreign residents to allow easy access to the region’s diverse tourism experience.
According to Yamina Karitanyi, the Rwanda Development Board’s Head of Department for Tourism and Conservation, the waiver was agreed on under the Northern Corridor Integration projects initiative.
Known as the East Africa Tourist Visa (EATV), foreign residents nolonger have to pay the $100 fee for the visa that is valid for 90 days effective December 15, 2014.
Karitanyi, said the waiver on the single East Africa Tourist Visa was the next step in consolidating and enriching the region’s tourism potential.
She added that joint marketing programmes will be carried out annually and will cover road shows such as the International Tourism Board (ITB) and World Travel Market (WTM) in 2015.
She pointed out that going forward, the partner states will lobby for a single stand during international tourism marketing events.
In preparing for the joint marketing programmes, she noted that the partner states were already gearing up the teams involved by conducting destination training workshops and disseminating information on the use of national identity cards, student/voters cards and the East Africa Tourist Visa.
Uganda Tourism Board’s Chief Executive Officer Stephen Asiimwe, said the development will bring exponential benefits to foreign residents living in the region.
“Our countries have a rich tourist menu on offer; from serene beaches, to pristine wildlife and nature, exquisite reserves, to hospitable people. It is the place to visit. Our products are inexhaustible and this waiver offers our region the best place to live and work. We encourage this community to be a part of the endless discovery, encounter and adventure of the best tourism episode of Africa at the least affordable price,” Asiimwe said.