SADC single tourist visa may become reality by 2013


Southern African Development Community member countries hope that single tourist visa for the region will become a reality by 2013 UNWTO meeting.

Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Board member Mr. Douglas Runyowa said: “The tourism sector believes that a single visa (Univisa) for SADC will considerably improve ease of travel and the flow of visitors to and within the region.

“Despite the complexities that come with opening up markets of sovereign countries to unhindered tourist flow, the region is targeting to have the Univisa by 2013. In terms of its establishment, we will also draw lessons from experiences from other regions where such initiatives have been set up.”

RETOSA (Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa) has been meeting in Bulawayo during the week and the upcoming UNWTO meeting will be one of the topics of discussion.

SADC brings together 14 countries – Angola, Botswana, DR Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. All countries will benefit if movement between the countries is made easier for the visitors during that time.

The countries in the SADC region are home to some of the best wildlife areas in the world. South Africa – Kruger; Namibia – Etosha; Botswana – Moremi; Zimbabwe – Mana Pools; Zambia – South Luangwa; Tanzania – Serengeti. The region is capable of attracting millions of tourists every year were they to allow free movement of tourists.