Tourism Slowly Returning to Normal in East Africa
Tourists exclaim: We did not find any coronavirus here
Tourism is slowly but surely returning to normal in East Africa after regional states opened their skies and territorial borders for both regional and global holidaymakers.
Most countries in East Africa have opened up their skies ready to welcome tourists as the COVID-19 pandemic numbers are sliding down in most regional states with each country taking safety measures.
Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda have opened their skies between August and October after Tanzania had taken the same measures by the end of May this year.
The decision by Kenya and Rwanda to reopen their skies amidst a surge in COVID-19 cases follows similar decisions in Tanzania and South Sudan in June.
Domestic flights in Kenya resumed on July 15, a fortnight after President Uhuru Kenyatta announced the phased reopening and said the country would adopt a wait-and-see approach to any changes in the preventative measures it has instituted since March.
Kenya had opened up its skies then allowed flights from Uganda and Ethiopia, as well as Rwanda and later Tanzania.
In Tanzania, more foreign tourists are pouring to leading wildlife parks since this African safari destination re-opened its skies for international flights at the end of May as the COVID-19 pandemic diminished and paled in its intensity.
The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr. Hamisi Kigwangalla, said recently that Tanzania welcomes all visitors to its attractions while observing guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
In 2019, Tanzania received 1.5 million tourists and generated US$2.6 billion.
Since July of this year, international airlines including Ethiopian, Turkish, Emirates Airlines, Oman, Swiss and Rwanda Airs, Qatar, and Kenya Airways, as well as Royal Dutch (KLM) and Fly Dubai had resumed flights to Tanzania.
Site visits to a few places in Northern Tanzania and parts of Kenya had shown a smooth recovery of tourism in East Africa with international tourists seen booking hotels and safari itineraries.