UGANDA GOVERNMENT REVISES VISA FEES AFTER TOURISM ARRIVALS TOOK A BEATING
(Posted 21st July 2016)
‘Better late than never, but this is an example how government bureaucrats simply fail to understand what damage their unilateral decisions can cause. We expect the reduction in Visa fees to stimulate demand for Uganda safaris and lead to an increase in visitor numbers once again‘ said a regular Kampala based tourism source when passing on the information that effective midnight tonight the old fee of 50 US Dollars will once again apply.
Uganda over the past year had suffered setbacks in tourism arrivals and occupancies in safari lodges but also upcountry hotels took a beating, in part caused by the 18 percent Value Added Tax suddenly heaped on accommodation, which like presently happening in Tanzania drove potential visitors to African destinations where no such charges were in place.
The pre-election period and hullabaloo then added its own challenges for the country’s tourism industry, in good part attributed to negative international media reports which blew small issues out of proportion and made potential visitors think twice before committing to a visit to Uganda.
Following a final meeting with immigration officials earlier in the week was then today finally a directive issued to all entry points into the country, at Entebbe International Airport but also the land border posts with Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan and Congo, that as of 22nd of July the Visa fee will once again be 50 US Dollars for a single entry Visa.
Meanwhile will a parallel process of manual and e-application for Visa remain in place until the end of August this year, before, going by present information at hand, all applications for Visa must be submitted electronically in advance in order to avoid being barred from entering Uganda.