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East Africa Community & La Reunion / South Africa VISA changes tabled at the AU (African Union) Ministers of Tourism meeting held in Seychelles

March 19, 2014 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

Seychelles-TravelThe AU (African Union) Ministers of Tourism meeting in the Seychelles heard the innovative developments adopted by Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda in the East Africa Community and by the Indian Ocean Vanilla Island of La Reunion for South African passport holders with regards to the much talked about VISA question in Africa.

The Ministers of Tourism meeting in Seychelles was the opportunity for the Kenya representative at the meeting to spell out the recent agreement by Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda for a uni-visa agreement amongst themselves offering free access across the borders of the three countries with just the one visa. This innovative approach was today proving to be a welcomed initiative by Tour Operators and tourists alike.

The same innovation taken by the Indian Ocean Vanilla Island of La Reunion to waive for the first time ever visas for South African passport holders. This approach is seen as one of the results of the workings of the Vanilla Islands Organisation and that of its CEO, Mr Pascal Viroleau. The island of La Reunion was seen to be suffering with its tourism industry as it was implementing the French Immigration regulations as applicable in France. The visa exemption innovation by the Vanilla Island of La Reunion is today being seen as a breakthrough to boost the island’s tourism industry. Another special visa arrangement is also being fine tuned for Chinese passport holders as long as the Chinese tourists have booked a package that has started with a second Vanilla Island such as the Seychelles and Mauritius.

VISA policy has always been seen as a challenge on the African Continent and such bilateral of tripartite agreements is seen as a positive move for Africa.

Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture also used the meeting to reiterate that the Seychelles has a NO VISA policy and everyone was welcomed to the islands. “We are friends of all and enemies of none and as such no one requires a visa to visit Seychelles” said Minister St.Ange of the Seychelles.

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The souvenir photo opportunity of the AU Ministers of Tourism meeting in Seychelles

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