Rwandan and Uganda tour operators have worked together to promote Eco tourism in Rwanda and Uganda. This followed a meeting between the Rwanda tours and Uganda tours operator in Kigali.
Members from the Uganda Tours operator Association, the Kenya Association of Tour Agents and the East African Tourism Platform and their Rwanda tours counterparts attended the one-day meeting at the Kigali Serena Hotel on Monday.
“It’s a great honour to work with Uganda and Kenyan tourism stakeholders…We are ready to share our experience and we hope we’ll learn a lot from you as we try to find ways to develop tourism in East Africa,” noted Manzi Kayihura, the president of the Rwanda Tours and Travel Association.
Waturi Matu, the East Africa Tourism Platform co-coordinator, said it was important for tourism industry stakeholders in Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya to work together, and also identify tourism products that could be jointly promoted. Like Eco Tours Rwanda, Eco Tours Uganda, Rwanda Gorilla Trekking in sustainable manner.
“This will help us develop business-to-business deals that can help increase tourists numbers in the 3 countries,” Matu pointed out.
Matu explained that Kenyan tour operators were in Rwanda to find ways on how to remove barriers that were hindering the growth tourism in East Africa.
Matu added that the move was in line with the treaty that was signed by East African Community Heads of State to promote the region as a single tourism destination.
“We’ve been performing well as a region at international tourism fairs, but very little has been done to promote East Africa as a single tourism destination.”
Matu said they would also start promoting tourism among East Africans to maximize benefits and revenue from the sector.
The East Africa Tourism Platform was launched in Kigali in July 2012 to reduce obstacles to intra and inter-regional tourism, promote a regional tourism marketing approach and encourage continued human resource development and skills transfer.
It also aimed at promoting harmonised standards and codes of conduct for tourism facilities and services.