The launch of a single tourist visa for tourists visiting Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya on 1 January 2014, presents the local services industry great opportunities to expand and enhance service delivery.
The initiative will increase demand for hotel facilities and create more jobs in the services sector of the three nations, especially in tourism and hospitality related field. It will also make it easy to form partnerships with industry players across the region thereby helping enhance standards and skills, and create more avenues to raise funds to improve the sector.
Citizens from the three East African Community countries also started using national identification cards as travel documents to cross borders on the same day. Using national identity cards and other agreed national documents, including voter’s cards and student’s identity cards, as travel documents is a project under a tripartite arrangement that was agreed on during a summit between the Heads of State of Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya in Uganda in June last year.
The leaders also agreed to establish a single tourist visa to promote tourism across the three countries. The $100 single tourist visa ensures entry into the three countries without the burden of the holder seeking any other travel document. The document that will be valid for 90 days will be bought at the point of entry in a member country or foreign missions of the partner states.
On the other hand, when one presents an ID, they are given a coupon by immigration officials, which process is repeated at the other side of the border. The coupon from the destination country is valid for six months. The Heads of State are set to launch the two projects later this month.