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Published on : Friday, January 22, 2016
The Visa Openness Report 2015 lists Rwanda among the destinations which improved visa procedures for 30 or more countries of origin (2015 over 2010), thereby facilitating easier movement of tourists in the past seven years.
As per the annual United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) publication, out of 54 countries worldwide, Rwanda, with its 178 index improvement, is ranked number 12. Uganda is at 18, Kenya at 23, followed by Tanzania.
Reacting to this Visa Openness Report 2015, Faustin Karasira, the acting head of tourism at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), said that Rwanda’s visa policy encouraged foreigners to consider the country as an ideal destination in addition to the uniqueness of available products in the country.
Ange Sebutege, the communications officer at the Directorate of Immigration and Emigration, said Rwanda’s commitment to reducing travel restrictions is manifested by developments such as the country’s recent waiver of visa fees for nationals from countries participating in the ongoing 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN).
The report says notable progress has been made globally in the area of visa facilitation in recent years.
While at the beginning of 2008, destinations requested an average of 77 per cent of the world’s population to apply for a traditional visa prior to departure, this percentage decreased to 61 per cent in 2015.
The visa openness report analyses visa policies and the progress made in visa facilitation over the past seven years, supporting destinations with evidence-based policy making and helping to prioritise activities within their facilitation policies.