In a bid to attract more international tourists to Zambia, The Zambia Tourism Board has asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to simplify the current visa process.

ZTB Managing Director Felix Chaila noted in his appeal that neighbouring countries had already made significant changes to visa fees or scrapped visas altogether in certain instances.

Speaking at a presentation on the newly launched Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) uniform visa (Univisa) pilot for Zambia and Zimbabwe in Livingstone, Mr Chaila said studies conducted in the tourism sector indicated that more tourists were likely to visit countries which had simplified visa regimes.

Mr Chaila went on to say that while the launch of the Univisa was a milestone that facilitated tourist arrivals, Zambia needs to continue simplifying the visa process to attract more tourists, particularly from major markets such as the US the UK, France and Germany.

The proposed introduction of electronic visas for Zambia would be another step in the right direction, particularly for tourists from countries such as China and India who often have difficulty getting visas due to time and distance constraints.

In a separate interview, Zimbabwe Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Dr Walter Mzembi said there was the need for a paradigm shift and change of mindset if Africa was to attract more tourists.

“We need to open our borders and remove restrictions which prevent trade and tourism activities to flourish,” he went on to say.