Enhanced East African Community’s tourism competitiveness through effective dialogue for policy reforms and regulation, improved tourism services export capabilities and strengthening tourism private sector’s capacity and sustainability
The East Africa Community is a leading tourist destination in Sub Sahara Africa. In 2012, tourism in East Africa is reported to have contributed US$12.8bn with the industry’s total contribution to the GDP ranging between 4.8% on the lower level as is the case with Burundi and 13.2% on the higher level for Tanzania. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Eastern Africa Sub-region Office (UNECASRO-EA) in its report “Towards a Sustainable Tourism Industry in Eastern Africa- a Study on the Challenges and Opportunities for Tourism Development” pointed out that “the region does not rank favourably as a competitive destination”. The key reasons given included; the lack of a conducive policy and regulatory framework, uncertainties in the business environment which do little to encourage investment, poor marketing strategies and over reliance on traditional source markets, ill equipped or not properly trained human resource, and the cultural resources that could expand the range of tourism products remain unexploited. East Africa Tourism Platform (EATP) is a regional private sector body for tourism in East Africa, set up by TradeMark East Africa in 2011 after extensive consultations with tourism stakeholders, to facilitate active and focused engagement of the Private Sector in the East African Community (EAC) Regional Integration process. EATP works closely with national ministries responsible for Tourism, Wildlife, Trade and Transport portfolios, the EAC Secretariat, East African Business Council and Private Sector Organisations in all EAC Partner states to promote intra and inter-regional tourism through advocacy, marketing, facilitating access to finance and risk management services, skills development, research and information sharing. EATP was established in July 2011 and became operational on 2nd April 2012.
The objective this project is to deepen East Africa community’s integration process through its goal of “Enhancing EAC’s tourism competitiveness”
Key outputs include;
- National tourism roundtables established and operationalized
- Tourism, wildlife conservation, natural resources management policies and regulation reviewed
- Visa and immigration facilitation policy reforms and tourism stakeholders sensitized
- Tax, levies and charges reviewed to enhance the regions price competitiveness
East Africa Tourism Platform (EATP) is supported by TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) through its programme of Public Sector Organization/ Civil Society Organization (PSO/CSO) that facilitates evidence-based advocacy that helps define priorities for trade, competitiveness and social welfare.