Zimbabwe is planning to revise its visa policy to help attract more tourists, trade and investment into the country.
Immigration Department principal Clemence Masango said government is working on measures to abolish visas to that visitors will be able to jet in from any country without any permit complications.
In an article published by the New Zimbabwe, it said that Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, speaking at a recent national tourism strategy workshop hosted by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality Industry, elaborated by saying that Zimbabwe should take advantage of the confidence of the international community in the new administration to market the country as a “preferred destination for tourists and investors”.
“We should take advantage of the goodwill towards the new dispensation to vigorously market ‘destination Zimbabwe’ to the world,” he said.
“As part of the facilitation of smooth entry for tourists and investors, we have placed a high priority on the review and amendment of our visa regime within the first 100 days in office.”
The vice president said Zimbabwe should move away from the trend in most African countries where almost two-thirds of the world’s population must obtain visas before entry. He said the Ministry of Home Affairs was committed to having an e-government programme that would ensure visitors got instant visas at points of entry to improve efficiency.
“The National Tourism Sector Strategy should, therefore, make the entry and exiting of tourists smooth and also harness domestic tourism, which is a key component of growth,” he said.
Chiwenga said the government would also revamp Air Zimbabwe and make it play its role of being the national flag carrier to improve the movement of tourists within and outside the country.
He said current foreign currency shortages had not spared the tourism sector, adding that the Treasury would ensure strategies are put in place to ensure the sector got a fair allocation. Zimbabwe does not currently have a tourism strategy that guides the sector and helps it unlock its growth potential and development.
Currently, Zimbabwe has one of the most restrictive visa regimes in Africa after it was ranked number 21 by the Africa Development Bank on the Visa Openness Index out of the 54 countries in the continent.