August, 2012

Business leaders and policy makers came for the first time to discuss a competitive approach to tourism in the region. COMESA organized the Sustainable Tourism Development Forum, which was held on 22-24 August 2012 in Nairobi, Kenya. The public-private dialogue, was held under the theme “Shaping the Future of Tourism in COMESA”, the event brought together over 70 regional participants from tourism boards, investment promotion agencies, tourism businesses and development partners.

 The meeting analyzed the regional diagnostic study of COMESA’s 19 Member States, whose aim is to come up with a framework for regional approaches that can be undertaken by both the public and private sector stakeholders to promote a more competitive, investor friendly, sustainable tourism sector in the region.

 The framework addresses issues such as putting in place a regional policy and strategy that defines tourism in the region, promotes the relaxation of visa requirements for tourists, packages and brands tourism, investment in infrastructure for tourism development, upgrades the sector to meet regional and global standards, promotes Investment in key areas of tourism such as hospitality and catering, addresses supply side constraints in the hotel industry, and exploits the quick benefits of E-Tourism; among others.

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