Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Paul Kagame of Rwanda have today officially launched the Single Tourists Visa. Steven Asiimwe, the Chief Executive Officer Uganda Tourism Board, says East Africa is now borderless adding that Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda have now opened their doors to over one billion travellers across the world coming into the region.
The Visa takes immediate effect for tourists visiting the three states from now onwards after the three leaders endorsed it at their meeting at Munyonyo in Kampala today..
Steven Asiimwe, the Chief Executive Officer Uganda Tourism Board, says East Africa is now borderless adding that Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda have now opened their doors to over one billion travellers across the world coming into the region.
Asiimwe says Global tourism trends have shown that travellers are more interested in a more holistic travel experience and every tourist would like to visit more than one country in a trip.
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Tourists will now be required to pay 100 US dollars for a 90-day multiple entry visa that takes them to all the three countries instead of 150 dollars that was required by each country. Asiimwe says most tourists who visit the region were mainly interested in a holistic process which the Single Tourist Visa provides through the single payment.
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In the year ending 2012-2013 Uganda earned 1.1 billion US dollars from tourism. Kenya earned 3 billion US dollars from tourism over the same period while Rwanda earned the least 300,000 dollars.
Sole Amat from Spain, a first time visitor in Uganda and East Africa, described the development as amazing.
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While Burundi has not declared its stand on the Single Tourist Visa, however, Tanzania has for a while argued that a single visa system will compromise its security. This is because the country will be forced to surrender its control of who enters the country.
The tourism boards of Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda now have to work on a joint marketing platform which will be done in the next two weeks.