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EALA Wants Single Tourist Visa Project Fast-tracked

MP Tiperu making her case at the EALA assembly

The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) is pushing for the introduction of the single tourism visa to boost the tourism sector in the region.

At the same time, price http://centrodelasartesslp.gob.mx/home/wp-includes/customize/class-wp-customize-nav-menu-control.php the Assembly avers that Hotel classification in East Africa continue to face challenges which include poor planning in the construction modalities and therefore urges the EAC to establish a mechanism for funds to support the initiative and enhanced capacity building.

ChimpReports understands EALA late Friday passed a report of the oversight activity on hotel classification and preparedness for a Single Tourist Visa.

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The report was presented by the Chair of the Agriculture, Tourism and Natural Resources, Hon Christophe Bazivamo.

In the report, EALA urges the Council of Ministers to “fast-track and complete the study on the implementation of the EAC One Single Tourist Visa” which commenced three years ago.

East African heads of states agreed to the use of a single tourist visa to allow a foreigner visit simultaneously Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda for tourism.

The holder of the East Africa Tourist Visa enters from the country that issued the visa and move within the two other countries without applying for another visa or paying another visa fee.

The holder is allowed to move out of Kenya, Rwanda and return without having to pay for another visa.

This is only applicable in the period of 90 days.

EALA has since piled pressure on EAC Council to fast-track “ratification of the Protocol on Tourism and Wildlife Management and for the EAC to provide additional resources for the Tourism and Wildlife Management Unit.”

The Oversight report follows an on-spot assessment of selected hotels in EAC Partner States by the Committee on Agriculture Tourism and Natural Resources (ATNR) and a further workshop aimed at identifying progress made, existing gaps, challenges and charting a way forward in this respect in order to ensure sustainable development of the sector.

The objectives of the Oversight activities included stock taking of the progress so far made in implementing EAC projects and programmes within the context of the EAC Tourism and Wildlife Marketing plan and strategy, interfacing with hoteliers and other stakeholders in the Tourism industry and suggesting recommendations for improvements in the tourism sector for the benefit of citizens of East Africa.

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The Treaty for the EAC states that Partner States shall establish a common code of private and public tour and travel operators, standardize hotel classifications and harmonise the professional standards of agents in the tourism and travel industry within the Community.

The Partner States are also obligated to develop a regional strategy for tourism promotion whereby individual efforts are reinforced by regional action.

The report takes an incisive study of hotels’ classification, looks at the challenges in the Partner States and makes specific recommendations as well.

During debate, Hon Adam Kimbisa said there was need to ensure inter-connectivity and infrastructure to support systems of the One Single Tourist Visa.

Hon Nusura Tiperu said the region has vast tourist attractions and added that it was time for the single visa to be put in place.

“There needs to be more information and data available on tourism to ensure visitors benefit on the tourist facilities,” she said.

The legislator urged the Council of Ministers to ensure the Secretariat is well staffed and capacitated.

Hon Mike Sebalu, Hon Shyrose Bhanji and Hon Isabelle Ndahayo supported the adoption if the report.

In June this year, the East African Tourism Platform met in Arusha to push for a common visa in the region.

EATP which promotes East Africa as a single destination founded on growth, dynamism and investment wants the sector to embrace the visa and market the region as a single tourism destination in addition to understanding that common challenges need to be solved by agreeable yet common strategic solutions.

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