South African tourism numbers can expect to get an unexpected shot in the arm as Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana resume the issuing of their UniVisa, better knows as the KAZA Visa – a single visa regime issued at the airports of Harare, Lusaka or Gaborone.
Travel experts argue that increased tourism into these African states will encourage tourists to also spend extra days in South Africa as OR Tambo International Airport is considered the main hub for transfers to Harare, Lusaka and Gaborone.
Pan African development website Elicit Africa reports the breakthrough for the resumption came during the festive period in the wake of a call by outgoing chairperson of the African Union (AU), Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, for a Visa on arrival for all Africans in all African countries.
The recent signing of the agreement between Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana should promote tourism to the three countries who shares a wealth of culture and heritage and common transboundary conservation areas, which can now be visited by foreign tourists under the single visa regime. It is expected to provide an incentive for foreign tourists to visit more than just one of the countries in the region, helping boost visitor numbers to the parks and key attractions like the Victoria Falls – including some of South Africa’s top attractions like the Cradle of Humankind, the Apartheid Museum and the wealth of safari attractions – all backed up by world class hospitality.
In the light of Dlamini-Zuma’s call Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa are expected to join the KAZA UniVisa as soon as practically possible opening up a large part of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) for foreign tourists.
The Team Africa (TTA), an organisation promoting travel within Africa by African and the Pan African Travel Association has long called for the implementation of a visa on arrival for all Africans. The AU is now actively supporting these views by urging all member states to introduce a 30-day visa on arrival policy for all citizens from fellow African countries.