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Published on : Friday, January 22, 2016
Kenya has received the prize for innovation and excellence in tourism, in public policy and governance during the 12th edition of the UNWTO’s awards in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday. UNWTO recognised Kenya’s efforts for innovation, participation and involvement in the pursuit of a single East Africa Tourism visa.
Kenyan Tourism Cabinet Secretary (Minister) Najib Balala acknowledged the award, saying it was a boost to tourism in the EAC countries and would go a long way in showing other countries that for economies to thrive, countries must work together in the tourism sector.
In 2014, three East African countries — Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda — came together and introduced a single visa with a view to facilitating free movement of tourists and citizens alike in the three countries.
By offering diversified tourism products, the three member countries are also able to increase their tourism numbers, hence building their economies.
In September 2015, the three countries also launched the e-visa application initiative in efforts towards digitization and to make it possible for visitors to get visa-in-advance, hence removing the anxiety of whether one will be able to get it or not at the point of entry.
The UNWTO award recognizes a highly innovative initiative by an individual, a country or a body that is managed by a public or a public-private institution and which reflects tangible and sustainable improvements in policy, processes and governance.