Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda developing tourism strategy
After signing an agreement in October, these countries created their first joint marketing plan in London at World Travel Market.
In Kenya, tourism, which accounts for about 11% of the GDP, has been in trouble for a few years.
In Uganda, the tourism industry, which is the primary source of revenue, is traditionally seen as an important aspect of the economy.
In 2015, it generated 2.6 billion dollars in revenues, representing 9.8% of the GDP and employing 247,000 people. But according to authorities, the potential of the country remains mostly untapped.
More known for its technological boom, Rwanda is also trying to diversify its economy by focusing, among other things, on tourism.
The country has managed to set up a tourism development strategy which has successfully boosted the number of visitors from around 25,000 to nearly one million between 2004 and 2012.
And the synergy created with its neighbors also aims to multiply its economic impact.
The joint agreement between the three countries also aims at the establishment of a single visa.
The Kenyan government, it has recently called on the other countries of the sub-region (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Burundi, Tanzania, Seychelles, Comoros, and Mayotte) to implement the single tourism visa as well. The aim is to build a strong sub-region and boost East African tourism.
This Rwandan-Ugandan-Kenyan tourism strategy is a first in Africa. It is a sign that the trend of synergy observed across the continent, notably in West Africa in the financial field, has spread gradually to different industries. ■