ZIMBABWE’S government has relaxed its visa rules for tourists from 37 countries – including China – and removed visa requirements for all visitors from the Southern African Development Community (SADC)*. The aim to boost tourism to the country.
#Zimbabwe uses a three-tier visa model: category A nationals are exempt from visas, category B travellers can obtain #visas at the port of entry on arrival; and category C nationals must apply for visas prior to travel.
With immediate effect China – along with 36 other countries including the UK and US – have been moved from category C to B, and all SADC countries have been migrated to category A.
Immigration principal director Clemence Masango says: ‘This new position is in response to the voice of players and interest groups in the tourism and hospitality industry, who want to see more facilitation of movement of persons than control.’
He said visa regime change is part of an ongoing process, and that consultations would continue with a view to a further relaxation of controls in order to make travel easier and Zimbabwe a more favourable and accessible destination.
The changes have been welcomed by Shane White, marketing director at Wild Horizons, a safari and adventure holiday operator in Zimbabwe and Zambia. ‘We are delighted to see a relaxing of the visa regime and are confident that this will lead to an increase in tourism numbers from the affected countries
*Southern African Development Community members: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
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