By Ethel Gunde, Banthu Times Reporter 26/08/2013
Malawi’s President Dr Joyce Banda has called on fellow African countries to make Visa processes smoothen the visa applications processes to attract tourism and promote trade in Africa.
Speaking at a Ministerial Roundtable of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation at Victoria Falls, on the border of Zimbabwe and Zambia where she was the guest of honour Dr Banda said ‘visa facilitation can act as a means to support tourism growth, socio-economic development and job creation.
President Banda elaborated a research by the United Nations WorldTourism Organisation; and World Travel and Tourism Council which indicates that facilitating visas among the G20 countries alone would create an additional five million jobs by 2015.
“It is my view that Visa Facilitation has the potential to enhance regional integration, intra-regional trade and easy movement of capital and people between countries and regions.Therefore, visa policies and procedures are among some of the most important instruments influencing tourism and investment. The development of policies and procedures for visas as well as other travel documents is closely linked to the development of tourism. Furthermore, the quality, reliability and functionality of visas have a direct correlation to number of arrivals at a destination.” Said Dr Joyce Banda.