The East African Community (EAC) has launched the EAC Regional and National Tourism Media Campaign to publicize national and regional tourist attraction sites and services, with the aim of stimulating and developing intra-regional travel.
According to 6park.news, it was Launched this week, the “Tembea Nyumbani”, or “Visit Home” campaign, seeks to attract citizens of East Africa to travel to their own countries and then to the region, in an effort to reactivate national and regional tourism in the region of East Africa, amid the COVID -19 pandemic.
The campaign is scheduled to run for three weeks, starting December 1, 2021. It is part of the implementation of the EAC Tourism Marketing Strategy and the EAC Recovery Plan with the support of the German Development Agency , GIZ.
The CAO Secretariat launched the campaign at its headquarters in the northern Tanzanian resort town of Arusha.
Tourism contributes significantly to the economies of the EAC partner states and to the pre-pandemic, contributing 10 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 17% of export earnings and 7% in the creation of job.
The COVID-19 pandemic saw the sector negatively affected with international tourist arrivals to East Africa falling by approximately 67.7%, to an estimated 2.25 million arrivals in 2020 compared to 6.98 million in 2019. .
EAC Secretary General Dr. Peter Mathuki had encouraged private sector tourism players to extend affordable packages to East Africans to entice them to take advantage of the vacation deals available during the upcoming holiday season.
“With preferential entry fees and fees now extended to EAC citizens, it is timely for East Africans to explore diverse cultures, go on adventure safaris, and visit exotic beaches, among other opportunities the region has to offer.” said Dr. Mathuki during the press. launch held at EAC headquarters in Arusha in the middle of this week.
Dr. Mathuki further noted that EAC has developed an EAC Pass that integrates and validates COVID-19 testing and vaccination certificates for EAC partner states to facilitate travel throughout the region.
The Tembea Nyumbani campaign is carried out by the EAC in collaboration with the East Africa Tourism Platform representing tourism businesses in the region.
Through the campaign, hoteliers and other tourism service providers are encouraged to promote affordable packages for EAC citizens.
For his part, the Director of the EAC in charge of the Productive Sectors, Mr. Jean Baptiste Havugimana, pointed out that the EAC is making progress to ensure that the Single Tourist Visa is adopted by all the EAC Partner States.
“The Sectorial Council for Tourism and Wildlife Management during its extraordinary meeting held in July of this year recommended that the Secretariat convene a multisectoral meeting that would include key sectors such as Tourism and Wildlife, Immigration and Security to develop a framework for the introduction of the single tourist visa by all the partner states ”, he said.
Havugimana noted that the meeting will be convened in early 2022, adding that once fully adopted, the Visa will facilitate foreign tourist travel throughout the region.
Additionally, EAC’s Chief Tourism Officer, Mr. Simon Kiarie, noted that EAC projects that with aggressive tourism efforts both regionally and nationally; the region will be able to receive about 4 million tourists next year.
“The recovery of the tourism sector has had an upward trajectory and we expect that by 2024 we will receive around 7 million tourists compared to the 2.25 million tourists registered in 2020,” he said.