Namibia launches online tourist visa application

September 22, 2023 1211

The Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security has launched online tourist visa application services, complementing the issuance of visa on arrival issuance, a system that was also recently introduced.

The Minister of Home Affairs, Immigration, Safety and Security Albert Kawana said such developments are in line with the government policy on e-governance, including the launch of the passport application and short-employment permits in March as well as the electronic identity (eID).

"As we celebrate Identity Day today, we are also adding a new online service that will enable those wishing to visit Namibia to apply for tourist/holiday visas online from the comfort of their homes wherever they are in the world. I have no doubt that with the launch of the tourist visa online application, our tourism industry is expected to perform economic miracles. This is good news for employment, especially among our youth and women," he said.

Namibia has seen an improved performance in the tourism sector with arrivals increasing by 98% to 461,027 in 2022 from 232,756 recorded in 2021.

This figure indicates a 28.9% recovery level towards the 2019 tourism arrival statistics.

Tourism was severely affected by the pandemic outbreak as governments across the world imposed travel bans to try to contain the spread of the disease.

Meanwhile, internationally, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) reported that global international arrivals increased by 102% in 2022 from 2021 but still remain 37% below 2029 statistics. 

Recent statistics show that the tourism industry's peak season has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, with an August 2023 occupancy rate of 68.9%, up from 60.98% in July 2023

Year-to-date, the average occupancy rate stands at 49.1%, which is only 2.1 percentage points below the 2019 average of 51.2%.   

Meanwhile, while celebrating the World ID commemoration, Kawana said Namibian ID has evolved in line with the e-governance strategy for the public service.

"This is evident in the use of IDs as travel documents between Botswana and Namibia.  In addition, the Cabinet recently approved the introduction of eIDs. This will make it easier and faster for stakeholders to identify and authenticate the identity of their clients. In addition, the eID will also provide digital signatures to simplify transactions," he said.

The Ministry is currently engaging stakeholders in information sessions aimed at understanding the features and use of the eID, and how it can benefit their respective institutions, including the Bank of Namibia and other financial institutions that are fully in support of this initiative, Kawana said.

This year, Namibia is commemorating ID Day under the theme “Ending statelessness for social progression.

 

 

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Last modified on Monday, 25 September 2023 21:00

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