14 May 2014

Zambia, Zim to Effect One Visa Regime

THE Governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe have agreed to implement the one visa regime aimed at increasing the international tourist arrivals between the two countries by next month.

Zimbabwe is Zambia's third leading source market for international tourists, accounting for about 87,048 arrivals in 2013.

Tourism and Arts Minister Jean Kapata said Zambia and Zimbabwe were committed to the implementation of the seamless visa between the two countries.

Ms Kapata said she held talks with her Zimbabwean counterpart Walter Mzembi, at the 2014 Indaba Tourism Fair in Durban last weekend in which they agreed to ensure that the two countries' common visa regime

was successful.

In a statement issued in Lusaka, the duo agreed to ensure that the one visa regime between the two countries was effected by June this year and that the two countries should showcase the development at the next Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) meeting.

Last year, positive development was recorded in the tourism industry when the Government reclassified the deferred visa to visa on arrival for some countries such as the United Arab Emirates.

Currently, the Government is reviewing the country's visa regime in an effort to increase international tourist arrivals.

Meanwhile, the Government has invited the Legacy Group of Hotels to invest in Zambia's tourism sector.

This was disclosed when Tourism and Arts minister held talks with Legacy Hotels and Resorts managing director Paddy Brearley at the Indaba Tourism Fair.

"My ministry is ready to receive the Legacy Group chairman at the end of June, in order to get an official commitment from the hotel chain. I also held meetings with Hilton Group regional director of sales and marketing in charge of Africa and Indian ocean Daniel Ebo," Ms Kapata said.

She said Mr Ebo disclosed that the Hilton Garden Inn Lusaka is scheduled to open in July next year at the former Society House in Cairo Road.

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