Just in time for the upcoming ITB Tourism Fair in Berlin, Zimbabwe has announced significant changes in their visa policy, to make visits of tourists easier.
All SADC – short for Southern African Development Cooperation – member state citizens are now exempted from visa altogether, while 37 countries, including China, no longer need to apply for visa in advance but can get them on arrival at any of the country’s border posts or airports.
Chinese tourists traveling in tour groups of 2 or more persons qualify for this arrangement in a clear effort to boost visitor numbers, which last year only reached some 6,000 arrivals, in stark contrast to neighboring countries, such as Zambia welcomed over 55,000 Chinese, while South Africa recorded over 158,000 Chinese.
Turkey, Cuba and Iran are among those countries whose citizens now get visa on arrival, joining most European Union countries, the USA, and Canada, all of which have benefited from easier travel arrangements to Zimbabwe in the past.
The country’s tourism industry broadly welcomed the initiative, also praising the timing of the announcement just ahead of the world’s most important tourism trade fair in Germany, where the Zimbabwean team will no doubt now go into overdrive to promote visits to Victoria Falls and the magnificent game reserves and national parks, besides the ancient ruins of Great Zimbabwe.