The government of Guinea-Bissau introduced an electronic visa system at the end of 2015, adding the West African country to the growing list of nations that allows potential tourists the possibility of applying for an electronic visa online.
Tourism in Guinea-Bissau
The move comes as part of the country’s efforts to promote tourism and thus stimulate economic growth according to Tourism Minister Fernando Vaz.
“Tourism can make a positive contribution to changing the external image of Guinea-Bissau,” Vaz said in a statement. By welcoming visitors from all over the world, Vaz said that tourism “can enhance the country’s natural and cultural heritage, which contributes to the fight against poverty, unemployment...and promote social cohesion and national identity.”
eVisa for Guinea-Bissau
The electronic visa system works in very much the same way as other countries that have already implemented a similar program, such as India, Bahrain and Myanmar. Potential visitors to Guinea-Bissau must first complete pre-enrollment on the official website before applying for the electronic visa.
Tourists will then fill out forms with their personal information, travel details, and any other information that the government of Guinea-Bissau feel is important for security reasons. Applicants will also have to have previously furnished a letter of authorization from a contact in Guinea-Bissau. Once approved, the applicant will receive their approved electronic visa via email.
The need to promote tourism to Guinea-Bissau - a historical region long-renowned for its diverse landscapes, lush wilderness reserves, and colonial landmarks - seems like a natural move given similar moves from other countries in the area.
Minister Vaz echoed a similar feeling: “Given the growing competition in the sub-region, it is quite obvious that there is a need to publicize and implement mechanisms, such as the acquisition of online visas to facilitate obtaining entry...to the country,” he said.
More Frequent Travel to Guinea-Bissau
As additional ways to promote tourism to Guinea-Bissau, Minister Vaz also announced that the country has finished an agreement with TAP Air Portugal, the flag carrier airline of Portugal, to offer 5 flights a day through July between Lisbon and the capital city, Bissau.