In a shock move, the government of Uganda had increased their tourist visa from USD50 to USD100 amidst confusion in all Uganda Embassies and Consuls who are still indicating the usual USD50.00 on their blogs and websites. This had been proposed in Uganda National Budget that was read this July where the ministry of finance noted that this increase was good as it would generate more income and foreign exchange in the country.
Uganda has thus followed Kenya who also hiked their visa fees to USD50 and are yet to request all people interested in visiting Kenya to start applying by providing all details online in order to check who should be given or denied visa. It should be noted that Rwanda is the one that kick started online visa registration in East Africa and other countries are now following suite. Its is not understood of Uganda will also start asking all those visiting Uganda to do an online visa request.
Stakeholders in the tourism industry have expressed dissatisfaction and are shocked by this move since increasing visa fees will make Uganda an expensive destination compared to other countries in East Africa. With the dollar value moving up every day, introduction of VAT on all local lodges have instead made Uganda a very expensive destination. To counteract this, the ministry of finance says that it will increase tourism budget from the former 16 billion to 30 billion to fund marketing, product development and infrastructure development in the next financial year. Tourists can now apply for their visa at any Uganda Embassies or consuls in their countries or can get them upon arrival at Entebbe Airport upon paying USD100 to immigrations.
Uganda is endowed with many tourist attractions which include the rale mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, golden monkeys, River nile, mountains of the moon, hospitable people but it looks like poor government policies will always affect the development of tourism yet the government needs more tourists to come to Uganda in order to have more dollars coming in the economy. If there any changes, we will let you know but at the moment, that stands as it is
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