East Africa Tourism Platform launches today

The East Africa Tourism Platform launches in its first county in the East African Community today, June 8, namely in Tanzania, to facilitate active and focused engagement of the private sector in the

East Africa Tourism Platform launches today

The East Africa Tourism Platform launches in its first county in the East African Community today, June 8, namely in Tanzania, to facilitate active and focused engagement of the private sector in the East African Community (EAC) integration process.

The Platform, an apex private sector body for tourism in East Africa, will work closely with EAC State Ministries, the EAC Secretariat, East African Business Council, and private sector organizations in tourism in all the member states to promote intra- and inter-regional tourism through advocacy, marketing, skills development, research, and information sharing.

In a pre-launch communication, Waturi Matu, the EATP Coordinator said to this correspondent: “A domestic and regional approach to tourism is needed in East Africa for the region to achieve its overall economic goals. Increased regional tourism promotion offers a lower investment option with greater benefits in terms of income and employment in the region.”

The EATP aims to achieve the following objectives:

• Inter-mediate and reduce obstacles to intra- and inter-regional tourism;
• Promote a regional tourism marketing approach;
• Encourage continuous skills development in the tourism sector;
• Promote harmonized standards and codes of conduct of tourism facilities and services;
• Facilitate access to finance and risk management services; and
• Provide information and networking opportunities.

Other country launches scheduled to take place are Rwanda, June 14-16, 2012 during the Kwita Izina Festival Week, and in Kenya on June 22, 2012 at the Kenya Travel Awards. Dates for Burundi and Uganda will be determined at a later date.

The East Africa Tourism Platform (EATP) is the private sector body for tourism in East Africa established to foster private sector interest and participation in the East African Community (EAC) integration process.

EATP seeks to support intra- and inter-regional tourism through:

• Lobbying and advocacy;
• Adopting a regional tourism marketing approach;
• Skills development;
• Harmonization of standards and codes of conduct;
• Access to finance and risk management services; and
• Information and networking opportunities.

In a related development, this correspondent has worked closely with the EATP during its formative stages and on the platform’s Facebook page via https://www.facebook.com/#!/eastafrica.platform , including all tourism, aviation, and conservation relevant content from www.wolfganghthome.wordpress.com , reporting about East African developments re-broadcast for the benefit of EATP’s fast-expanding membership and supporters. All the best on the Arusha inaugural launch and lasting success in uniting East Africa’s often fragmented tourism sectors.

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