Based on Data obtained by e-visa application provider, VFS Global, global travel is on the rise in 2023 and almost getting to pre-covid levels.
The surge in travel activity in 2022 took the industry by surprise, exceeding the conservative recovery projections, and is continuing into 2023 with visa application volumes at VFS Global in Kenya more than doubling versus 2021 already. In 2020 and 2021, global travel took a major dip after governments took measures to halt travelling in response to the Covid-19 outbreak which was then a pandemic.
Explaining why the demand for visas has increased, Hariprasad Viswanathan, the Head of Sub Saharan Africa at VFS Global, said that the opening of international borders and easing of travel restrictions has created a peak ‘revenge’ travel with tourism, family visits, educational trips etc.
“Due to the high pent-up travel demand, we expect the increase in international travel from last year to continue this year as well. With the opening of international borders and easing travel restrictions, the industry is witnessing peak ‘revenge’ travel with tourism, family visits, and educational as well as business trips being the common reasons for outbound travel from Kenya. Seeing the surge in demand for outbound travel in the initial part of this year and with limited appointment slots available, we encourage our applicants to apply for their visas as early as possible like their flight and hotel bookings,” he said during a media outreach session in Nairobi.
VFS Global affirmed its commitment to continuously engage in developing innovative solutions to enhance the overall visa application experience. Applicants are regularly provided information about visa processing timelines, data protection and privacy assurance, how to detect fraud and the organisation’s value-added services are regularly communicated via key touchpoints.
Hariprasad Viswanathan advised applicants to be sure to carry all the requisite documentation, including a printout of the checklist, to submit along with the duly filled application form. Just like applying for a visa in advance, it is recommended that applicants must check their passport’s validity before planning an international trip. Many countries require a valid passport six months beyond your return date.