The Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA) has commended the government for its recent decision to eliminate visa requirements for visitors.

In a major announcement made during the Jamhuri Day celebration on Tuesday, President William Ruto declared that Kenya will officially become a visa-free destination beginning January 2024.

This move is expected to provide a substantial uplift to the tourism sector, demonstrating the government’s commitment to fostering a more accessible and inviting environment for international visitors.

“KATA commends the government for this noteworthy and well-timed action, it as a distinct indication of Kenya’s dedication to fostering stronger connections with the global community,” said KATA.

The elimination of visa requirements is in harmony with the African Union’s directive to member states to remove hindrances to international business, encourage cultural exchange, and build communal relationships to expedite the integration process.

KATA says the action additionally bolsters Kenya’s commitment to the realisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which seeks to boost the continent’s economic integration, facilitate the movement of people, and encourage seamless trade and business activities.

KATA now encourages other African Union member states to emulate Kenya’s example and remove barriers to encourage intra-African travel and trade.

In expressing gratitude for the President’s announcement, KATA urges government agencies to promptly issue appropriate guidelines on how the proposed Electronic Travel Authorisation will be implemented.

“Given that we are currently in the peak holiday season, KATA wishes for a smooth process that does not cause inconvenience to travelers who have already finalised their travel arrangements, said Kata.

As the primary representative of travel agents in Kenya, KATA says is prepared to support and contribute to the success of this groundbreaking decision.