Burundi: Suspension of tourist visa issuance at airport decreases tourist number

Non issuance of tourist visa at the airport is one of the main challenges that the touristic and hotels sector faces today. This was said during an exchange meeting between public and private partners operating in this sector.

Edouard Bagumako: “Burundi should review strategies to reinforce security and re-open doors to tourists”

Edouard Bagumako: “Burundi should review strategies to reinforce security and re-open doors to tourists”

An anonymous private partner who owns a hotel asks the national office of tourism to collaborate with the government and review the conditions of issuing the tourist visa. “If the government has facilitated visa issuance conditions for participants in COMESA summit, why can’t it do it for all tourists?” he wonders.

He says Burundi is not a kind of country that lives in great insecurity to ban tourist visa issuance at the airport.

This owner of a hotel in Bujumbura city regrets the fact that a large number of people is unemployed, hotels and restaurants are not functioning normally because the number of tourists visiting the country is very small. “Many hotels have reduced employees, others closed down…The government of Burundi has to open its doors to tourists and issuing tourist visa at the airport is one of the solutions,” he says.

Edouard Bagumako, vice president of the hotels and tourism chamber, also confirms that the non issuance of visa on arrival is one of the factors that cause the fall in tourists’ number. “With the process of passing through embassies to get a visa to Burundi, tourists are not enthusiastic about visiting the country. It is a long process and can take more than a month. They prefer to visit other places”.

He calls on the government of Burundi to review the strategies so as to adopt a win-win situation as the tourist sector is losing a lot with the current situation. “Nobody is against security but the government should adopt other strategies. For example, a severe monitoring of their movement once they are inside of the country to make sure they are not doing any wrong. Burundi should re-open doors to tourists at it was before March 2015,” he says.

Burundi used to give a tourist visa at Bujumbura International Airport. Since March 2015, the government released a note informing that visa issuance at the airport was suspended for security reasons.

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  1. Burundi

    Good leaders make good policies and worse leaders make ….you guessed it worse policies .

    Now , plz you leaders try to answer my questions :
    1) why on earth would I have to go to your embassy if there is one so I could come and spend my money in your country where I won’t even feel safe to get out of airport ?

    2) A clever person is suggesting to monitor tourists , come on ….who is causing insecurity ? Is Burundi becoming North C ?

    Let me remind you few things tourists hate :- applying for visa …worse if they have to go ( or send theirs passports ) to embassies .
    – feel unsafe or unwanted

    In Kirundi you always say that : Mbwire gito canje gito c’uwundi cumvireho