The transitional government of President Jeanine Añez has removed the requirement for entry visas to visit Bolivia for citizens of Israel and the United States in order to promote tourism in the Rurrenabaque region located in Bolivia’s northern gateway to the Amazon, as well as to send positive signals to foreign investors.
The imposition of visas on Israeli and North American citizens was a political gesture by the former government, and the measure triggered a structural crisis in Bolivia’s tourism network.
Yerko Núñez, the Minister for the Presidency, said that Rurrenabaque was the area most affected by the visa requirement, which resulted in a drop of nearly 50% in adventure tourism associated with the region. The new government has declared that Bolivia needs to be open to the world, without losing its essence, culture and identity.
For her part, Lourdes Omoya, Executive Manager of the State-owned Boliviana de Turismo (BOLTUR), believes that the measure will strengthen important markets in Bolivia, and underlined how vital a greater flow of foreign tourists is to strengthening regional economies, the places visited, and the country as a whole.