President William Ruto’s directive to abolish visa requirements for international visitors in Kenya has resulted in a massive influx of foreigners to the country.

Since the directive took effect at the beginning of the year, the government has received 120,000 applications for Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA), generating an impressive revenue of approximately Sh600 million.

Government Spokesperson Isaac Mwaura, in a statement during his weekly press briefing, stated, “The program is working very well, there has been a great demand for information and we continue to streamline it to ensure it realizes its vision.”

Out of the 120,000 applications, 115,000 have been approved, while 5,000 were denied. Mwaura further emphasized, “In the long term, it can yield up to $30 billion dollars, we are talking about trillions of shillings in our economy ever.”

The ETA, which costs $30, replaced the previous visa system, which was considered tedious, complex, and costly. President Ruto’s decision to make Kenya a visa-free country was announced during last year’s Jamhuri Day Celebration.

The government is projecting over two million international arrivals by the end of the year, a significant improvement from the current 1.48 million, marking a positive shift in the country’s tourism sector.

The immigration department has also put in place stringent measures to ensure the validity of the ETA system, with penalties for non-compliance and false information.

Airlines are required to submit passenger information for fact-checking, and the immigration department will cross-check data against watch lists to identify criminals or suspects.