Zim, Zambia revive uni-visa regime to boost tourism

Zim, Zambia revive uni-visa regime to boost tourism

VICTORIA FALLS, June 29 (The Source) – Zimbabwe and Zambia are set to re-launch the uni-visa regime aimed at improving tourist movement between the two countries.

The two countries share the world famous Victoria Falls, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and a premier tourist attraction. They adopted a uni-visa after a successful co-hosting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation 20th general assembly in August of 2013.

The revival of the uni-visa would improve Victoria Falls’ competitiveness as a world renewed tourist destination.

The Uni-visa, spearheaded under the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (Kaza), was meant to be a pilot project into opening the borders in the Sadc region for free movement of people and goods.

Chief Immigration officer Clemence Masango told tourism players in Victoria Falls on Tuesday that the uni-visa is on its way back as the two countries are in the process of signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

“We are happy to report that the two countries have sourced 50, 000 stickers and the only outstanding issue is the signing of the MoU,” said Masango.

He said the suspension of the uni-visa was a result of shortage of stickers that had been finished as well as expiry of the MoU.

“Zimbabwe and Zambia have been working on whether to continue with the facility and mobilise funding for stickers and respective Cabinet Ministers are addressing the issue,” he said.

Masango said the stickers had already been dispatched to ports of entry in anticipation of launch soon.

The uni-visa followed the two countries’ successful hosting of the UNTWO in 2013 and aimed at facilitating free movement of people through the two countries’ borders.

It also covers people travelling to Botswana for day trips through the Kazungula border as it precedes a common visa for southern Africa.

The uni-visa will be available to citizens from 40 countries including Japan, New Zealand, UK, Russia, France, Australia, Spain and Germany.