East Africa Eyes Regional Visa

Kenya is prepared to move tourism a notch higher to beat international competitors, says a senior government official.

Tourism minister Najib Balala told tourism ministers from the East African region on Sunday that it was time they embraced measures to improve the sector.

He said offering one visa to tourists would market the region, since it would save tourists the burden of paying for a visa in every country within the community they visit.

By using one visa to tour the countries, tourists will be able to reap benefits of visiting more areas affordably and would in turn market them at their home countries.

“Imagine a tourist using one visa to move to destinations in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi; the impact it will have on our tourism market would be great,” he said.

He added that his Ministry is also working with key ministries like that of Immigration and Wildlife to improve the sector.

Kenya is currently offering 10 study scholarships to each of the East African countries to facilitate tourism education, which will improve the sector regionally, he said.

Mr Balala was speaking during a regional conference for tourism ministers in the region at the Leisure Lodge Resort at the Coast.