Uganda, Kenya urged to lift visa restrictions to boost tourism

by MMC
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In a major push for greater collaboration in tourism, private sector leaders in Kenya and Uganda’s tourism sector have jointly called for the removal of visa restrictions and the harmonization of industrial laws between the two countries.

The call was made at the Kenya-Uganda Private Tourism Sector Engagement held in Kampala, where over 30 industry players came together to address challenges and explore solutions.

Stephen Asiimwe, executive director of the Private Sector Foundation Uganda, highlighted the potential benefits of addressing these issues, saying it would significantly help increase the number of tourists traveling between the two countries.

Asiimwe’s remarks highlighted the spirit of collaboration needed to move the tourism sector forward.

“While Kenya remains Uganda’s main source market for travelers, harmonization of visa restrictions and laws governing the two countries is crucial to unlocking the full potential of tourism collaboration,” Asiimwe said.

Sam Mwandha, executive director of the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), echoed the sentiment, calling for increased partnerships between the two nations.

Mwandha highlighted the importance of collaborations that enhance connections and pool resources to develop product knowledge and exchange industry trends, thereby fostering a stronger tourism landscape.

County Executive Committee Member for Commerce, Tourism and Cooperative Development Clara Ningome further highlighted the importance of unified efforts in the tourism sector.

The call for harmonization is a strategic move to create a seamless experience for tourists and promote a common understanding of industry regulations.

A recent report from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed a positive trend in tourism between Kenya and Uganda.

The number of Kenyan tourists visiting Uganda has seen a notable increase, reaching 376,294 at the end of December 2022, compared to 336,294 in 2021, an increase of 40,000 visitors.

The private sector’s unified call for collaborative measures reflects its commitment to fostering an enabling environment for tourism growth, highlighting the need for streamlined regulations and improved connectivity between Kenya and Uganda.

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