February, 2016

In line with its mission and vision, EATP hosted a Forum geared to offer a platform for open discussions on the vision of East Africa as one tourism destination and the feasibility and viability thereof. The meeting took place at Elevate Suites in Kigali on the 3rd and 4th of February 2016.

 Invited to the meeting were CEOs and Executive Directors of Private Sector Tourism Associations in the five East African countries; Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Tourism Boards in the East African Community member states were also invited as EATP fosters private/public sector collaboration in matters of tourism in the region. These stakeholders were brought as policy makers and influencers, they were gathered in the same room to discuss challenges and opportunities of developing tourism in EAC and promoting it as a single destination.

 For two days, EATP challenged the participants to look beyond their differences and challenges at their national levels and rally their strengths behind finding solutions to common problems. Carmen Nibigira, EATP Regional Coordinator, emphasized that solutions will have to come from all of the five partner states, with a unified vision and collaboration towards developing regional tourism.

Ms. Nibigira hoped the forum gave each tourism stakeholder an opportunity to borrow a leaf from each other in their efforts to develop tourism in East Africa. Few priorities emerged from the two days Forum that are common to the five countries as: Policy Regulations, Product Development and Marketing, Skills Development and Research.

 EATP called on all participants to see inter and intra-regional tourism as something to be embraced for the good of EAC.

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