EABC-EATP sign agreement to champion growth of the EAC tourism sector
The East African Business Council and East African Tourism Platform have signed a memorandum of understanding geared to market the EAC bloc as a single and most attractive tourist destination.
Speaking at the signing ceremony in Nairobi, Mr. John Bosco Kalisa said, “the EAC bloc lost USD. 4.8 billion in 2020, 2 million jobs and recorded a 65% decline in international arrivals hence this new partnership between EATP and EABC is vital for tourism rebound.”
He elaborated that tourism contributes an average of 17.2% to EAC total exports and 7.1% to employment.
Mr. Frederick Odhiambo Odek, Chairman of the East African Tourism Platform said, “The coronavirus has heavily hit the tourism sector, this is an opportune time to collaborate to provide the much-needed boost to help sustain our region’s many businesses. The partnership will be a key driver of tourism business recovery in the short to medium term.”
7 million tourists visited the EAC bloc before the outbreak of COVID-19. Mr. Kalisa urged EAC Governments to sustain tax and statutory deductions for the tourism sector to support its recovery.
This new partnership is set to strengthen collaboration on joint research, policy advocacy, capacity building at EAC and international levels to support the recovery and growth of the tourism sector amid the COVID-19.
EABC and EATP partnership also seek to roll out capacity building for tourism service providers and fairs to brand and market the EAC region as a single and most attractive tourism destination.
This year in October, EABC and EATP in partnership with EAC is organizing the regional tourism fair and exhibition in Arusha in order to link tour operators with international agents.