East Africa Eyes Tourism Growth After Joint Tourist Visa Launch


healing geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>At the Internationale Tourismus-Börse (ITB) Berlin Tourism Fair this year, search the Northern Corridor countries Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda had a common pavilion in order to market the region as a prime tourism destination.

The three countries also used the world’s leading tourism fair, which took place in Berlin-Germany from 5th to 9th March 2014, to promote the East Africa Tourist visa which commenced on January 1, 2014.

The visa between Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, which costs US$100, is a result of a joint decision made by Heads of State for the three countries.

At the fair, the three countries were ranked among the top 5 exhibitors where each showcased different iconic attractions and traditional dancers revealing diversity of the East African destination.

Rwanda was selected best continental exhibitor, Kenya was the third and Uganda fifth.

Speaking at a press conference held in Kigali this week, the High Commissioner of Kenya to Rwanda John Mwangemi said the joint partnership in promoting trade “will enhance the tourist product offering in the three countries and as a result increase the number of tourists in these countries that have a diversity of experiences to explore.”

The Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board Ambassador Valentine Rugwabiza said this recognition is indeed good news for the region and indicative of a positive response of the travel industry on one hand.

“On the other hand, the East Africa tourist visa serves as an incentive to tour operators to offer packages of tourism experiences and itineraries combining the three countries.’

The Ugandan High Commissioner to Rwanda, Amb. Richard Kabonero said the introduction of the East Africa tourist visa at the ITB in Berlin is an indication of the commitment of the three countries to market themselves as a single tourist destination.

“The recognition of the three states is further suggestive that the destination will indeed attract a great number of travellers since they will benefit from the multiple entry visa provision,” he observed.

According to official statistics, the Uganda tourism industry has leapt from $660million to $1.2 billion earnings to the national treasury over the previous financial year.


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