East African Tourism Platform launches today in Arusha

EAST AFRICAN TOURISM PLATFORM LAUNCHES TODAY


The East Africa Tourism Platform launches in its first county in the East African Community today 08th June, 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 prelaunch 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:
· Intermediate 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 14-16th June 2012 during the Kwita Izina Festival Week and in Kenya on 22nd June 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 works closely with EAC State Ministries, the EAC Secretariat, East African Business Council and tourism private sector organizations in all the member states.

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

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