Zimbabwe and Zambia have re-launched the KAZA UNIVISA to facilitate seamless travel of tourists between the two countries, Principal Director in the Department of Immigration Control, Clemence Masango said.
The KAZA Univisa project was initially launched in November 2014 as a pilot project following the successful joint facilitation of entry and exit of delegates to the 2013 United Nations World Tourism General Assembly co-hosted by Zimbabwe and Zambia.
Addressing a media briefing on the re-introduction of the project, Masango said the KAZA Univisa will see a total of 65 countries participating, 25 up from the 40 that started the pilot project in 2014.
“This time around we have 65 countries that will be taking part in this initiative. These are countries whose nationals are entitled to visa on arrival in both Zimbabwe and Zambia.
“KAZA countries must now take full ownership of and responsibility over this program it if is to be a success and a permanent feature in the facilitation of tourism and marketing of our products and destination,” explained Masango.
The KAZA Univisa saves time and money and enables easy travelling between Zimbabwe and Zambia while covering for people who want to enter Botswana for day-trips through the Kazungula border.
As of 21 December 2016, uptake of the KAZA Univisa stood at 4278 which translates to $213 900 in revenue.
“We also call upon and encourage the tourism and hospitality industry as the main and direct beneficiary to play a more active role in support of this program as we go into the future,” Masango further stated.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Chief Executive Officer, Karikoga Kaseke said the initiative is a stepping stone in promoting tourism.
“The re-introduction of the KAZA Univisa will undoubtedly facilitate seamless travel between the two countries.
“This development against the background of the expected servicing of the Victoria Falls International Airport by Ethiopian Airlines and Kenyan Airway,” said Kaseke.
The ZTA boss called for improved access into Zimbabwe and the region, through similar collaborative efforts with other neighboring countries.
“The industry is crying out for facilitation of tourists through multi-destination access. As such, going forward, it would be prudent for us in the region and beyond to seriously consider the promotion of multi-destination access through the establishment of the tourism visa,” said Kaseke.
The Univisa is available at Harare, Victoria Falls, Lusaka and Livingstone International airports, the Victoria Falls land border (Zimbabwe and Zambia) and the Kazungula land border (Zimbabwe/Zambia/Botswana).