Kenya mulls plan to grow EAC tourism

Tuesday, November 21st, 2023 05:00 | By
Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua. PHOTO/Print
Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua. PHOTO/Print

Kenya will front for the creation of an East African Community (EAC) regional tourism circuit for member States to collectively create wealth for the citizenry, Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua (pictured) said yesterday.

Mutua said the single tourism circuit will offer several advantages, including diverse landscapes, rich cultural experiences, and a variety of wildlife. It will also allow travelers to explore Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda, maximising the range of experiences within a single trip.

“Our strength is the regional circuit. This is where we need to market. We can create a circuit that allows somebody to get seven out of 10 in the price of one. That is the thinking that we have…I will be writing a letter to my colleagues (member states) in the ministry of tourism just to discuss the regional circuit,” he said.

Last year, Kenya and Tanzania received 1.4 million international arrivals while Uganda got 815,000. Mutua was speaking at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre KICC) yesterday, during the launch of the 3rd EAC Regional Tourism Expo and 13th edition of the Magical Kenya Tourism Expo.

He later launched the “Visit East Africa, Feel The Vibe” brand logo to market East Africa as a single destination to the world. By showcasing the diverse attractions and cultural richness of the multiple East African countries, the circuit can draw attention to the region as a whole, benefiting each participating state.

Furthermore, the revenue generated from tourism can contribute to local economies, supporting businesses, creating job opportunities, and fostering sustainable development.

The EAC Secretary General Peter Mathuki said international tourist arrivals in the region has been steadily increasing over the years, after slumpind due to the economic shockwaves of the Covid-19 pandemic, although at varying rates in each partner state and but is now recovering.

“In 2019 the total annual arrivals reached 7.2 million. It had projected that this would increase to about 14.05 million by 2025,” Mathuki said in a speech read on his behalf by Annette Ssemuwemba Mutaawe, the EAC’s Deputy SC for Customs, Trade and Monetary Affairs.

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