SMART MOVE KEEPS KENYAN VISA FEES AT 25 USD
The Kenyan government, according to a well placed source in Nairobi, is set to keep the fees for a tourist Visa at 25 US Dollars per person, and will only review this by July 2011. The savings, for instance for a family of four, runs into 100 US Dollars, money tourists then spend in restaurants, curio shops or on excursions, spreading money directly into the Kenyan economy rather than collecting it at entry and being kept by government.
The other East African countries other than Rwanda, where notably many nationalities are exempt from paying for Visa – thus contributing to the fast rising demand for tourism in this country in recent years – continue to charge 50 US Dollars, making holidays there more expensive.
The long advocated for common East African Visa has still not gone beyond the planning stages, a pathetic state of affairs considering the idea was floated [incidentally by this correspondent] at an EAC Committee meeting on tourism and wildlife back in 2002 and been ‘welcomed’ – not too welcome though for some who continue to delay and obstruct this crucial element in making tourist visits to the entire region ‘easier and cheaper’.
It has also been ascertained that both envy as well as anger is extended towards Kenya over this decision by her neighbours, where in particular immigration officials talk of ‘undercutting’ instead of considering joining hands in lowering ‘entrance fees’ in line with Kenya and finally agreeing on a common Visa and its administration.
But until at least July it is ‘Karibuni Kenya’ at ‘half the entrance fee’.