Tourism Boost Expected as Kenya Implements Visa on Arrival Rules

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When you think of Safari, it’s probably Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania those are the destinations of your dreams and they are the perfect introduction to the African continent. It’s time to rush there as immigrations rule changed to favour and ease the travel.

The news that the government has rethought and implemented the Visa on arrival for all African nationals is a great thing to cheer about. For us all in these businesses of marketing for tourism, the thought alone has naturally made the industry optimistic. And as if that is not enough the country has been placed as one of the most attractive country to visit in east Africa. Wowing tourist as global tourism becomes a highly competitive in contributing to the GDP per capita income.

The tourism hub of Africa faces challenges caused by political instability that follows the five-year electoral cycle.  Thou the tourist will always avoid a volatile country like a plague, Kenya has managed to steer itself back to the road and move.  It is generally agreed that the peaceful transition in when any government is changing hands is one of the key factors that form stability. For years our own stability has largely been so due to the faith the citizens have in the Judiciary’s competence and political impartiality.

As we applaud our leadership and policy makers in the tourism and immigration sections it’s good to note that since then, a lot of water has passed under the bridge. Professionalism, integrity and competence of some institutions, like the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, not forgetting their predecessors Elections Commissions of Kenya, is now in doubt, while those of others like the police and civil service are still in transition or stuck in policy paralysis.

Tourists usually plan for holiday’s way in advance. It is not unusual to receive bookings that are even two or three years away as customers plan and save money. This means that for Kenya to compete for serious tourism business and events, we must first invest in stability then formulate policies that will hold the country together without a bleach of peace no matter what. However we as a nation, we are a very polarised and it is fatalistic to have an election in the future with compromised institutions. The time to fix these issues is now; we should stop this cycle of instability at every election if the country will ever move forward.I am particularity amazed that the leadership of our country understands that once a destination is out of favour due to insecurity or political instability, it takes long to recover credibility and, for a country that gets into a crisis every election year, we are unlikely to build tourism any significantly. We don’t want to be dropped out of that bucket list country everyone would wish to visit.

Trying to do a continuous itinerary in Kenya is a little difficult, as everything is spread out so to hit the main highlights you may need to double back on yourself a little bit and travel through the main cities, especially if you are using public transport. But don’t let that put you off, Kenya is as much about the journey as it is the destination.

My final thoughts Kenya is safe and stable, tourism will flourish as the country has everything else in its favour, Climate, Nature, Locality and most importantly the smiles from its players in the hospitality industry.

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