The online system, which has been available since July, will replace other methods such as visiting the embassy or gaining a visa on airport arrival.
Bushra Sultan, managing director of DMC Somak Safaris, said that the move would make the country safer, following a series of attacks over the past few years. "We can see more clearly who is coming in and out of the country by getting people to apply for visas in advance." She added that there would be a two month 'grace period' where kiosks would be set up at the aiport to allow last-minute travellers to apply for online visas on the spot. "When the online visa system is fully established I think it will make things quicker and easier for passengers," she added.
Though visas will now be unavailable on arrival, Chetan Shah, head of operations at The Black Tomato Agency, said the decision was unlikely to affect corporate events in the destination. "If you’re booking a spectacular event, such as an incentive at the Four Seasons Serengeti, it’s not like booking a trip to France - there’s lots of planning to be done." He added that booking an online visa would be unlikely to deter corporate groups looking for that ‘once in a lifetime experience.’ "In addition, can be difficult to get visas at the airport if the processes and infrastructure is poor. Corporate groups always plan ahead, so in many ways it might be easier."
In a statement from the Kenya High Commission, immigration chiefs described the move as a positive step forward, speeding up the passport control processes at the airport and increasing security.
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