The 41st World Tourism Conference took place in Kigali Rwanda to bring together African nations and discuss business opportunities. For this unique occasion, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame, expressed a sincere desire to work with countries in the region and improve travel conditions for everyone. Kagame defended that opening up the borders to each other could contribute to trade, investment and tourism.
During this conference, organized by Africa’s Travel Association, Kagame said in his opening speech, “The single tourist visa and passport-free travel between Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda is already a reality,” he also added, “Visa on arrival in Rwanda for all African Nationals.” Rwanda’s leader believes that it’s necessary to implement the already existing agreements. He particularly focused on eliminating visa restrictions to propel tourism in the area.
Citizens of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda can visit these countries freely. It should be noted that a single-entry visa is available upon arrival for all the people who don’t have a Rwandan embassy or consulate in their country. Kagame argues that there are new technologies and digital platforms that could benefit the region.
A beautiful region where tourism can grow
Africa has much to offer and although tourism is growing in the continent, it could grow much more. Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development pointed out that the biggest challenge is violence.
Kituyi insisted that sustainable security must also be a priority if tourism is to grow. He said, “Tourism is driven by peace and sometimes peace can be driven by tourism.” The secretary general also pointed out that the media does severe damage to Africa’s public image. He encouraged governments to invest in tourism, African tourists within Africa are growing rapidly and it could postively impact the lives of millions of people.
Measures taken by Rwanda’s president are precisely aimed at promoting tourism amongst neighboring countries. Tourism offers job opportunities, RwandAir is expanding its wings, quite literally, as it offers flights to several destinations in Africa and outside the continent. For those people interested in visiting Rwanda, the government has designed a platform in which travelers can review the requisites according to their citizenship. It is possible to apply for a visa online. The country is trying to keep up with new technologies that simplify processes for locals and foreigners.