UNWTO Welcomes Jamaicas Decision to Waive Visa Requirements for Eastern European Nationals

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Monday, 18 March 2013

The UNWTO has welcomed Jamaicas decision to waive visa requirements for Eastern European nationals and to extend indefinitely the current visa waiver system for some Latin American nationals.

These important policy steps are in line with UNWTOs call for countries worldwide to revise their visa regulations and procedures underscoring the close links between visa facilitation and economic growth through tourism.

The visa waiver is for tourists from Russia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine visiting Jamaica for up to thirty days.

The indefinite extension of the visa waiver is in place for nationals of Columbia, Panama, and Venezuela.

We continue to make positive headway towards removing barriers to travel while creating ease of access to visitors from these new and emerging market frontiers said the Minister of Tourism and Entertainment of Jamaica, Wykeham McNeill.

UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, said, Easing visa policies generates new opportunities for tourism growth and the consequent economic benefits that it brings. Recent UNWTO research shows considerable progress towards visa facilitation over recent years, although hurdles remain in several countries. Jamaicas decision is encouraging and sets an example for the way forward.

The waiving of the visa requirement for visitors from Latin America in 2011 has proven a successful strategy, with a 50% growth of tourist arrivals from that region in the following year according to the Jamaican authorities, who expect a similar impact with the easing of visa requirements for emerging European markets.

UNWTO, Jamaica, Visa

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