EAST AFRICAN LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY DEMANDS IMPLEMENTATION OF COMMON TOURIST VISA
(Posted 28th August 2016)
Members of the East African parliament, known as Legislative Assembly, have yesterday made recommendations to the Council of Ministers to finally get on with the implementation of the common tourist Visa for the region.
First to fastrack the change were Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya, which now offer tourists the option of paying for a common Visa at a cost of 100 US Dollars, valid for up to 90 days and giving access to the three countries.
Tanzania has until now not joined the initiative which proved already successful for the three participating countries in terms of added cross border visits by tourists. Under the deal can duly registered expatriates in these three countries now also travel Visa free by using an ‘Interstate Pass‘ which needs to be requested when leaving the country of residence and intending to travel to the two other countries.
Burundi plays no role at present in implementing these developments as a restrictive if not outright regressive Visa regime, besides the constant political problems, have kept tourists away from the EAC’s least visited country.
New member South Sudan is also still embroiled in the aftermath of a bitter civil war and tourism, a sector with great potential, has yet to take off while the country struggles to harmonize laws, regulations and institutional frameworks to the requirements of full EAC membership.
The EALA Committee on Agriculture, Tourism and Natural Resources also took issue with the implementation of the region wide grading and classification of hotels which members felt was lagging behind and had shown flaws which needed rectifying.