Namibia considers tourist visa for UK arrivals

By Travel Gossip Reporters
11/06/2024
Home » Namibia considers tourist visa for UK arrivals

Namibia is poised to introduce a tourist visa for UK visitors in a tit-for-tat row over tightened travel rules for its own citizens.

In July 2023, the UK Government unexpectedly introduced a visa for Namibians arriving here having previously had a reciprocal ‘no-visa’ deal for stays of up to six months. The then-Home Secretary Suella Braverman claimed Namibians were ‘abusing’ visa-free travel so they could arrive and then claim asylum.

In response, officials in Windhoek have announced the UK will be among 37 nations that will soon require a visa. These include notable inbound tourist markets, including Germany, the US, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

“We’ve absolutely no idea of the timescales of this plan – either when it might happen or what the application process will be,” explained Chris Mears, chief executive of the African Travel & Tourism Association (ATTA).

“Visas don’t necessarily put off travellers, but the extra admin can be a hurdle. That is especially relevant when it comes to operators or airlines having special late deals because it can be a barrier to booking.”

Although no details of the potential fee have been released, Namibia currently has a £95 per person tourist visa charge for other nations.

In a statement the Namibian Government said that in the past it had extended ‘gestures of goodwill and favourable treatment to nationals of various countries’ but that was not being reciprocated. “In light of these disparities, the government has deemed it necessary to implement a visa requirement to ensure parity and fairness in diplomatic interactions.”

Namibia is a popular twin-centre destination and is typically paired with South Africa, Botswana or Zambia. In 2022 UK visitors hit 13,404, making it the third-largest overseas market. Numbers were bouncing back strongly after COVID-19, but that figure is still less than half the 2018 total of 31,269.

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