UPPED TRANSIT VISA VALIDITY AIMS TO PROMOTE STOPOVERS IN KENYA
(Posted 05th June 2017
Information is emerging from Nairobi that the Kenyan government is planning to increase the validity period for transit Visas from the present 72 hours to 96 hours, i.e. from three to four days.
The move, according to an industry source, is aimed to attract more stayover visits enroute to other destinations to bring in more tourist dollars.
However, the same source also raised questions as to why this is not being done immediately ahead of the general elections, to attract more visitors into the country at a time when a heated campaign is traditionally witnessing a slowdown in arrivals.
It was also pointed out that going by present practice will the transit Visa be a paid for Visa, unlike in some countries in the Gulf where free transit Visa go hand in hand with free accommodation, as just launched by the UAE’s national airline Etihad, which has partnered with the Radisson Blu in Abu Dhabi giving even economy class passengers a free overnight.
‘It is all fair and good to come up with ideas but those got to make sense, not just try and generate headlines. Fact is that right now for US Dollars 20 a transit Visa can be obtained to facilitate for instance road travel from JKIA to Namanga or vice versa. The big question is therefore not raising the validity from three to four days but if the cost is removed. We face serious competition from other destinations, places outside Africa, and if we want to compete on level terms we need to look at what they do and how they do it. Entice passengers transiting at JKIA with at least one free overnight, maybe more for premium travelers and have special three day packages available for them to choose from for safaris or a trip to the coast. Otherwise this may just be more hullaballoo, hype without real impact as and when it comes in January next year‘ added the same source when passing the information.
The question was also raised if this is to be exclusive for travelers on Kenya Airways or will also apply for travelers arriving on other airlines flying to their final destination with Kenya Airways or even those who fly to and via Nairobi on airlines other than the Pride of Africa.
For more information about Kenya’s tourism attractions click on www.magicalkenya.com and www.kws.go.ke