East Africa set for joint Regional Tourism Marketing drive at ITB

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Looking to market the East African tourism, a delegation of five officials from the East African Community (EAC) Headquarters is participating the International Tourism Fair (ITB) in Berlin this week.

Officials from the EAC will be marketing the East African tourism attractions during the ongoing ITB despite several political obstacles the six-member states are facing.

The EAC Secretary General Liberat Mfumukeko had earlier said that the EAC Secretariat had undertaken joint tourism promotions at the major international tourism trade fairs in Berlin and London to increase the visibility of EAC as a single tourism destination, and to promote intra-regional tourism and enhance co-operation among tourism players within the region.

Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, the mountain gorillas in Rwanda and Uganda are the known tourist attractions not available among the rest of member states. The two famous attractions are the East African Community tourist icons pulling high class visitors to the region.

Under the joint tourism marketing strategies, the EAC states are implementing a joint programme on classification of tourist hotels and other accommodation establishments in five member states of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

The exercise to classify hotels has been initiated by the EAC members in efforts to improve tourism services and hospitality sector in the region and stimulate competition in service delivery, efficiency, and responsibility among the governments and the business stakeholders in travel and tourism sectors.

The review of Classification Criteria for Tourism Accommodation Establishments and Restaurants commenced in August 2018. The review is aimed at taking into account the international tourism trends and best practices in order to ensure that the region enhances its competitiveness and position itself adequately in the global tourism market.

Rich in natural resources, mostly wildlife, geographical features and nature, the East African states are looking to make tourism a leading source of foreign currency gains.

Political problems, hostile taxes, poor infrastructure, lack of skills and viable airlines for quick connections are few impediments slowing down tourism development in East Africa.

Tourist business operators are looking for removal of obstacles and hurdles facing the tourism sector in the EAC region.

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