EGI believes that East Africa has state of the art features and if promoted well can be a great resource and a revenue stream for countries which embrace tourism. Recognizing that tourist attractions in East African countries to a large extent complement each other EAC is working to bring people together from all cultures in order to break barriers and learn from each other. EAC Partner States have agreed to work together to promote the industry and maximize gains. Tourism is one the productive sectors identified under the areas of cooperation agreed upon by Partner States in the EAC Development Strategy (2001-2005).
It is from that Strategy that the sector derives one of its key achievements; the development of a Tourism Marketing Plan and Strategy. With a third EAC Development Strategy (2006-2010) now in place, the implementation of the initiatives/interventions contained therein is the focus of the sector.
The Treaty for the establishment of the EAC requires Partner States to undertake and to develop a regional strategy for tourism promotion, with the stated Development Objective of “Maximized benefits from sustainable tourism and wildlife resources.”
In pursuit of the goals stated above, the following strategic interventions have been identified:
- Market and promote East Africa as a single tourist destination;
- Operationalise the East African Tourism and Wildlife Conservation Agency;
- Implement the criteria for classification of hotels, restaurants, and other tourist facilities;
- Harmonize policies and legislation on wildlife conservation and management;
- Adopt a regional approach to the protection of wildlife resources from illegal use and practice;
- Adopt a regional approach for participation in regional and international treaties/agreements on wildlife conservation and management;
- Enhance capacity building in the tourism and wildlife sector
Tourism in East Africa is endowed with a multitude of possibilities. While affording the traveler an impressive range of options in exploration and relaxation, there’s still enough to spare for the investor – this is a region that presents incredible potential for one hoping to exploit the countless opportunities the industry offers.