The country is considering implementing visa requirements for citizens from over 30 nations, including the US. This means the current visa-free access for Americans might be coming to an end.

Why make the change?

The Namibian government is seeking reciprocity, meaning they want countries to offer similar visa-free entry for Namibians as Namibia does for them. This proposed change, recently approved by the Cabinet, could significantly impact travel plans for Americans.

While details are still emerging, industry experts are concerned. The SADC Business Council Tourism Alliance fears this new visa regime could stifle tourism and economic growth. Namibia’s recent efforts to increase international flights seem to contradict this policy shift.

Impacts of this decision

“Stricter visa rules can hurt the entire tourism industry,” warns Natalia Rosa of the SADC Alliance. “Business travel, conferences, and educational trips could all be affected,” she adds, highlighting the potential negative impact on various sectors of the Namibian economy.

Pointing to the success of visa liberalization in Rwanda and Zambia, Rosa urges Namibia to reconsider and consult with stakeholders. This news comes as a surprise, especially considering Namibia’s recent introduction of a remote work visa. Industry observers are puzzled by this shift as the SADC region prepares for a pilot Univisa program.

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