Tanzania has dealt Kenya another blow by distancing itself from the common visa launched between Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. The common visa is meant to, among other things, enable the members states to jointly market their tourism as a single product.
This comes just a day after Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda revived calls for Tanzania to come on board in promoting the region as a package, through the single tourist visa.
In a press conference, Mr Balalaika also said that Tanzania wants nothing to do with the joint marketing strategies pushed by Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda and will not participate in the East African tourism platform events being pushed for by the neighbours.
The joint visa has been issued to 4,000 tourists who will be visiting the three countries, now dubbed ‘the coalition of the willing’. In a media briefing Wednesday, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said Tanzania was wary of competition from Kenya.
“Tourists who will be moving between the three countries that form the coalition will now be using a common visa that will be charged at $100 (Sh10,122) instead of $150 (Sh15,183) that each country charged before,” Mr Balala said.
Rwanda,Uganda and Kenya have implemented the single visa and use of national identification cards to cross to either sides. The visa uptake has, however, remained low since its launch in February 2014, with only 4,000 visas having been issued so far.
The three governments cited lack of enough promotion, calling on high commissioners both in Africa and abroad to market the visa. Under the single visa regime, foreigners can visit Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda at a fee of $100(Sh10,130 ), current exchange rate.