Many can attest that travel within Africa can be difficult thanks to visas, fees and bureaucracy. That may get easier, however, with some countries taking steps to encourage tourism to their respective regions.
1) Then Open Door Policy – Rwanda took a bold step in early 2013 by offering Africans traveling to the country a visa on arrival. The visa allows travelers to skip the step of applying at an embassy. It also avoids processing delays. Travelers can get a visa at any point of entry in Rwanda. Kenya followed suit in December. Kenya’s president, Kenyatta Uhuru, said travelers can obtain a visa on arrival and stay in the country up to six months. The visa is limited to nationals of countries that have a reciprocal law. The president hopes the move will promote unity on the continent.
2) The East-West Connection – With its new visa policy in effect, Kenya country isn’t wasting any time marketing itself as a tourist destination to it’s African sisters and brothers. The country hopes to tap in the travel market in places such as Ghana and Nigeria by targeting travel agents in both countries. The country will also begin launching direct flights between Abuja and Nairobi on Kenya Airways later this year.
3) The Green Travel Movement – Gabon is promoting its 13 National Parks with a 3D multimedia video. The country hopes to model itself after ecotourism success stories such as Costa Rica. The country reserved 11 percent of land for national parks to boost its economy. Though the plan to boost the economy hasn’t been as successful in the past few years due to lack of tourism infrastructure, bureaucracy and corruption, the country hopes to bounce back by encouraging visitors with this video.
The theme for Social Media Week Lagos 2014 is A Connected Africa is the Future. If you have any questions about traveling to Lagos, please contact yours truly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope to see you in Lagos.