Friday, 3 July 2015

Majority of Tourist’s Unaware of EAC Single Tourism Visa-Uganda Safari News

A majority of international and regional tourists passing through Uganda or Kenya are unaware of the existence and way of using a Single Tourist Visa (STV) as well as National Identification for travel within the three EAC countries of Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda and yet it’s now more than one year since the Visa was launched.
This information is given after a survey commissioned by Kenya Tourism Federation to investigate or ascertain the level of awareness on the Single tourists Visa and effectiveness of National Identification Card for travel within the three countries.
According to the research results, up to 58.1 percent of tourists visiting the three countries had neither used nor encountered with someone who had used or crossed boarders by help of single tourist’s Visa, while 47 percent of visitors expressed lack of familiarity or knowledge on the existence of single tourists visa.
While the largest number of immigration officials interviewed /encountered was informed of the existence of single tourist’s visa and the states involved or engaged in the initiative, 67 percent were not informed or familiar with the cost of single tourist’s visa with 25 percent expressing lack of familiarity/knowledge on how to apply the card.
Strathmore University Center for Tourism and Hospitality Research Consultant David Chiawo while addressing the event where the results of the survey were published noted or expressed that the tourists reported that the Current single tourist’s visa processing procedure is poor. This therefore calls for more effort from all the three countries to improve on the procedure.
"The survey results also expressed that there is limited and poor information circulation on single tourists visa for travelers on either safaris to Uganda or Kenya and immigration officials with only 25 percent of tourist’s and less than 15 percent of immigration officials rating the current information as good.
Based on the survey results, the study is recommending serious training and induction of immigration officials on single tourist’s visa and National Identity Card usage as travel documents. The level of awareness should put emphasis on important elements like cost, application procedures and benefits.
The study also encourage all the tourism stake holders in three countries to seriously market the single tourists visa both regionally and internationally to improve tourists' knowledge on presence of STV, cost charged, application process, benefits attached and countries fully involved.
The Single Tourist Visa was introduced or launched in February 2014 with a target or intention to increasing the number of travelers under taking safari tours to all three counties. It’s upon this that I call upon all the potential visitors planning safari tours to Uganda but also interested in exploring all the three East African countries to book for Single tourists Visa since it’s cheap and hence reduces safari costs.
Uganda Safaris /Uganda Safari News
Prime Uganda Safaris and Tours Ltd

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