, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 9 – The government has announced that manual visa applications at ports of entry into Kenya will continue until such a time the newly introduced e visa is fully operational.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said though the e visa was already running, manual application at the entry points to the country will continue concurrently so as not to bar the last minute visitors to the country.
“We have had a number of challenges in the implementation of the e visa and I have therefore ordered that application of visa on arrival to the country continues as it were,” President Kenyatta said.
He made the remarks Wednesday in Italy during the opening of a business forum between Kenyan and Italian business communities.
The forum is among a series of activities the country has lined up in Milan to mark the Kenya Week in the ongoing Milan Expo that has attracted over 150 countries.
The resumption of manual visa application that ceased operational from September 1, 2015 is good news to travel agents and tour operators who had raised the red flag on the possibility of a drop in visitation to Kenya as a result of challenges associated with the new system.
At the same time, President Kenyatta also announced that discussions were at an advanced stage to introduce a direct flight from Milan to Kenya for ease of travel.
“Malindi International Airport will be able to handle direct flights from Milan and we shall discuss on making this a possibility,” he said.
He said the move would see to an increase of visitors to Kenya. Italy is the fourth top source market to the country with about 50,000 visitors to Kenya in a year.
The announcements are expected to positively boost tourism business that has recently shown impressive arrivals from different source markets.
President Kenyatta’s visit to Italy has also seen him position Kenya as an investment, tourism and exports destination.
He told the Italian business community that his government has put in place relevant infrastructure to spur investment in all sectors of the economy.
Governors attending the event are Jackson Mandago (Uasin Gishu), Paul Chepkwony (Kericho) and Amason Kingi (Kilifi).