Malawi has removed visa fees requirement for travellers from the United Kingdom, United States of America and 13 other nationalities.
Malawi High Commissioner to the UK Thomas Bisika has confirmed. Malawi also only requires proof of Covid 19 vaccination instead of a covid test.
The measure, introduced in efforts to revive tourism, will apply to tourists from 16 countries, among which the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany, VisaGuide.World reports.
Simon Mbvundula, the spokesperson for the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife noted that by removing these restrictions, the tourism industry can benefit, indicating that more arrivals are expected to reach the country in the upcoming months, which could be a great push considering the two-year inactivity caused by the pandemic.
According to Mbvundula, the measure is based on research that revealed that the country was losing tourist arrivals compared to other African countries, with high visa fees being among the main factors for the situation.
The Malawi government imposed visa fees in 2015 for all countries, and now, single-entry visas for Malawi cost $50, while a multiple-entry visa for six months costs $150, and the price for a multiple-entry visa for 12 months can total $250.
The tourism sector in Malawi has experienced great losses during the COVID-19 pandemic and any actions that aim at improving the situation are more than welcomed by business operators.
The executive director of the Tourism Council of Malawi, Innocent Kaliati welcomed the development.
He also noted that his department has fixed issues with the electronic visa system, as many complaints had been voiced on social media for the country’s visa system, with some people saying they prefer Zambia rather than Malawi due to these issues with the visa system.
Malawi adopted the international e-visa system back in 2019, expecting to ease up the time-consuming process regarding the acquisition of travel documents.
The Immigration Department in Malawi is taking measures to fix the e-visa system, and the portal is expected to be fully managed by this department soon enough, while Malawi’s government intends to implement the visa-free waiver arrangement in January 2023.