By Kojo Bentum Williams
Tourism analyst and project director for Horwath HTL Interconsult Limited, Carmen Nibigira has commended Ethiopia’s decision to implement visa-on-arrival service for African travellers, saying the move will boost business and trade opportunities in the country.
Speaking on BBC Money Daily, a dedicated show on Africa from Nairobi, Kenya Carmen said given that Ethiopia offers “ a very different product experience and has a rich history comparable to no other country in Africa” the move will ease travel to the country for those “who view history and religion as motivation for travel to the destination.”
She believes offering visa on arrival services will also “create more interest and encourage the opening of new routes for Ethiopia’s national carrier,” as well as ensure growth in domestic tourism in Ethiopia.
“As the seat of the AU, this is a good example and others may emulate and implement, which is good for Africa,” she added.
The new Ethiopian visa announcement followed a new e-Visa service that was launched in June.
The service, which was initiated by the Ethiopian Immigration and Nationality Affairs Main Department in collaboration with Ethiopian Airlines, allows all international visitors to apply and pay for a tourist visa online and receive it by email message, thereby streamlining the travel process, and eliminating the need for travellers to go to the Ethiopian Embassy in their home country to apply for a travel permit. – Voyage Africa