SINGLE TOURIST VISA FOR EAST AFRICAN TOURISTS

ISSUANCE OF THE SINGLE VISA
Tourists will be granted a single Visa upon application at most of the embassies of Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, via the immigration offices of the mentioned countries or online where it is possible.

UNIQUE FEATURES OF THE VISA FROM THE UGANDA, RWANDA AND KENYA VISAS
The visas for most specified countries go for $50 but permit entry only in to that country. The EAC single tourist visa, similar to the Schengen visa for European Union countries will permit tourists to enter any of the 3 counties and travel freely with in the other two without having to pay for another visa.
It will be a multiple-entry visa, and visitors will pay $100 for it. The time-span of stay for which it is issued cannot be pushed, neither is the tourist accepted to work.
What prevents me from using a visa issued by the Rwanda embassy in Washington for a business meeting in Kigali to travel with it to Kenya?
Visas issued for any of the specified countries are only used to travel to that country and not into any other EAC country.

HOW WILL IT WORK WITHOUT BEING STAMPED?
One is required to fill immigration forms where the time span of stay in the neighboring country will be shown and entered in the system.

IS THE VISA MACHINE READABLE?
Apparently the visa is machine readable and will avail the soft ware for personalization of the visa stickers to Kenya and Uganda. The software makes it possible for the 3 countries to access tourist information, data and share fees.

HOW WILL MEMBER STATES ENSURE THAT IT WORKS?
In the first year Rwanda was tasked to set up the visa and implement it initially. Rwanda will avail the information and communication technology software for personalization of the visa stickers to Kenya and Uganda.
The software will be able to permit sharing of information on fees and tourist data and apparently 60,000 visa stickers have been produced and distributed, in equal numbers to the particular high commissions and immigration offices of the three countries.

Visa fee collected will be shared among member states, with the issuing country taking $10 and the remaining $90 shared equally among member states.
The countries can then promote themselves as a single tourist destination like for the coming up March 2014 trade fair in Berlin, the Internationale Tourismus-Börs, the world’s largest tourism trade fair.
Partner states will use the regular logo and particular stands be designed to come out the same, they will have a joint promoting committee. A web portal has therefore been created as that will be hosted by Rwanda and pay for hosting and domain name for the first year. Thereafter, payment shall be on rotational basis.

ISSUES TO BE ADRESSED BY MEMBER STATES TO ENSURE THE VISA IS A SUCCESS

Member states look into other issues like cutting the airfares within the region. For example, it is more costly for a tourist to fly within the three countries than to fly into them from say Britain.
A tourist flying from Britain to Kenya will pay $800, then $400 from Kenya to Uganda, and $300 to Rwanda which is very dear bearing in mind the distances between the East African countries.
To promote itself as a single tourist destination, hotel tariffs need to be such that a five star hotel in Kampala is no different from one in Nairobi or Kigali
There should be standardisation of the hotels to meet the agreed EAC criteria. To promote itself as a single tourist destination, hotel rates need to be such that a five star hotel in Kampala is no different from one in Nairobi or Kigali

Security concerns are a major hindrance to the embracing of a single tourist visa within the region and should be looked in to as an emergency by the partner states.