East Africa: Stakeholders Seek To Make EAC A One Tourism Destination

The chamber of tourism, in collaboration with the East African tourism platform [EATP], has organized a two-day meeting in Kigali to discuss how to market the region as one tourism destination.

The meeting has been attended by tourism players from EAC member states.

Manzi Kayihura, the chairman of the EATP, said that “the sector will grow when EAC countries work together and curb any challenges that might hinder the progress of tourism.”

Tourism is still the leading export in Rwanda, with an annual growth rate of 4%. It contributes 8.9% to the GDP. Statistics from Rwanda Development Board [RDB] further indicate that tourism generated $305 million in 2014 compared to $294 million in 2013.

Participants at the meeting noted that when insecurity is improved in the region, infrastructure also improves. And with good research done on products which can brand EAC, nothing will stop the tourism industry from progressing.

RDB’s chief tourism officer, Belise Kariza, explained that tourism is a priority sector for Rwanda’s economy.

“Developing national parks, investing in hotels, research and providing good customer care we will give EAC a one tourist destination,” says Kariza.

By Triphomus Muyagu

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