Published on : Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Advance bookings by South African tourists visiting the Kenya coast had taken a harsh decline in recent weeks when it became known that would-be visitors were to appear in person at the Kenya High Commission in Pretoria for the processing of a biometric Visa and then had to wait for several weeks to get it, again to be collected in person.
At the time these measures were announced, clearly a step taken in frustration over South Africa in turn requiring Kenyans to pay a heavy processing fee while pretending that the Visa itself was still free but also slapping the requirement of transit Visa on them when flying beyond Johannesburg into a third country.
Forward bookings for Kenya Airways – South Africa is an important African market place for Kenya’s national airline, too were said to have taken a dive as travelers tried to bypass the need for transit Visa in Nairobi by moving their business to other airlines.
Considering the dire situation at the Kenya coast at present, something regular sunshine speeches seem to completely ignore, the tourism stakeholders for now have succeeded on prevailing upon their Ministry of Foreign Affairs to suspend the new Visa regime and re-enter negotiations with the South African government.
Remarkably have neighbors Tanzania, which holds dual membership in the East African Community and in SADC, been granted Visa free visits to South Africa while in turn South African have been rushing to the beaches of Zanzibar where Mango now flies twice a week from Johannesburg.