Tanzania Says No To Joint East African Community Tourist Plan

Tanzania Says No To Joint East African Community Tourist Plan

As the three East African Community (EAC) members states of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda are ready to announce the join tourist entry Visa at the world’s largest tourism trade fair– the World Travel Market (WTM) in London which gets underway on Nov. 4 ahead of its official launch in January 2014, Tanzania has said it will not be party to joint tourist Visa agreement.

The government of Tanzania has stated that it will not join the fast tracked East African single tourist visa until the relevant fee collection infrastructure that links member states is in place.

The decision comes even as three other EA members — Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda — are about to launch the visa early next year, reports The Standard.

The visa will make it easier for tourists across national borders and as well as for industry players to offer multi-destination packages.

According to a spokesman for Tanzania’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Chikandi Rumisha, the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure is an important prerequisite to any agreement because it will enable the exchange of fees, data and other information on tourists.

Rumisha said  that the Tanzanian government has considered other issues including security as verification of visitors will only be done at any entry point among the member states.

“The proposed network of sharing data on tourists and fee collection, as well as security issues leaves a lot to be desired,”  Rumisha said.

“For instance, when a tourist pays entry fee in Kenya, and he or she gets security problems here, we ( Tanzania) will incur costs?” he said.

The single visa means to visitors is that they will only pay $100 instead of three visas for $150.