EATP Highlights and New Perspectives

News updates from the East Africa Tourism Platform, in short EATP

EATP Highlights and New Perspectives
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It is with great pleasure that I extend heartfelt greetings to the readers of the second issue of the East Africa Tourism Platform Newsletter.
As the third EATP Executive Board Chairman, I would personally like to commend the former Executive Board Chairman, Mr. Manzi Kayihura, and his team of board members for their successful efforts in steering the region towards becoming a Single Tourism Destination.
EATP can be credited for successfully advocating for the East Africa Tourist Visa, use of National IDs as travel documents for citizens, free movement of tourism services, partial liberalization of EAC air space and joint marketing initiatives. The E-newsletters have been vital in sharing information and disseminating EATP activities and achievements as well as highlights and burning issues on tourism in East Africa.
EATP will continue to position East Africa as one destination and advocate for the Air Liberalization of East Africa as one air space, sector specific tax reforms and incentives, harmonization of standards and codes of conduct of tourism facilities and services.
I humbly appreciate the opportunity bestowed upon me to chair the current team of steering committee members, as we work together with our partners to fulfill EATP’s advocacy agenda, vision and mission.

Yours Faithfully,

Bonifence Byamukama
East Africa Tourism Platform

Former Chairman Mr. Manzi Kayihura from Rwanda
Current Chairman Mr. Bonifence Byamukama from Uganda

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. We work closely with EAC state Ministries, the EAC secretariat, East African Business Council and tourism sector organizations in all the member states.


A vibrant and diverse single tourism destination providing exceptional experiences and services.


To promote intra and inter-regional tourism through advocacy, marketing, skills development and information sharing.

On the occasion of the EATP 4th AGM held on 20th May in Kenya, the organization  deliberated at length its successes, challenges and direction for the future.
(1) Collaboration with the Public Sector:

  • Implementing East Africa Destination Portal on behalf of the Joint Tourism Marketing Committee (under the Northern Corridor Integration Projects)

(2) Trade Exhibition & Fairs:

  • Provided part sponsorship for regional tourism trade expos; with the goal of facilitating B2B networking and encourage partnerships geared towards multi-country packages
  • Provided private sector perspectives at various high level panel discussions on tourism

(3) Research and Knowledge Resource:

  • Conducted research and marketing training for national organizations with a role in collation & management of tourism data.
  • Tourism Competitiveness Assessment for East Africa
  • Organizational Capacity Assessment studies commissioned with the goal of facilitating evidence-based advocacy and to help develop capacities of the national private sector associations.

(4) Industry Communication:

  • Interactive engagement with stakeholders on current developments through website and social media
Moving forward, EATP seeks to position itself as the regional think tank for tourism. The focus areas towards this goal include:

(1) Tourism Data Collation & Management:

  • EATP will continue engagement with the public sector and partners for establishment of a ‘Tourism Observatory’ for tourism data collation and due processing to monitor the socio-economic impacts of tourism in the region and support  decision and policy making.

(2) Information Sharing and Networking:

  • Sensitize stakeholders on sector development opportunities and challenges;
  • Continue to provide factual information to the media; conduct FAM trips in the region for leading travel journalists for content generation as well as engage them on responsible reporting.

(3) Promote an Intra and Inter-regional Tourism Marketing Approach:

  • Completion of the ongoing East Africa Destination portal which will be a one stop shop for the region’s tourism offering
  • Continued input towards joint marketing activities such as a joint exhibition stand at World Travel Market 2016 and road show
  • Single Tourist Visa (STV)- biggest milestone yet towards a single destination
In Other News…
1) Inter Governmental Authority on Development Conference:- First ever Eastern Africa Regional Tourism Meeting held on 1st to 3rd June 2016 in Kigali, Rwanda initiated by UNECA. It was an opportunity to assess regional tourism in IGAD (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda) and EAC member states.
  • Regional tourism marketing
-IGAD to urgently drive the formation and operalization of Tourism Council
-Multi-destination marketing
-Harmonization and standardization
  • Safe and security
-Crisis communication a crucial element of good crisis management to address information needs of industry stakeholders in an efficient, timely and responsible manner i.e. Safety and Communication Center
-Strengthen links and partneships with UNWTO
-Emphasizing journalist tourism to give positive image and stories for our continent

2) Tourism industry one of the big winners in Kenya’s 2016-2017 budget estimates– Not only did the Kenyan government allocate Ksh. 4.5 billion to the tourism industry in the 2016/2017 financial year, it also made VAT exemptions on park entry fees and commissions for tour operators

3) Kenya: Racing to reverse a drop in visitor arrivals from Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda with a Sh150 million marketing campaign following last year’s success with travellers from Nigeria and South Africa.

4) Rwanda: Rwanda to scrap visas for Africans by2018

5) Tanzania: TATO’s statement on the imposition of Value Added Tax on Tourist Services

6) Tanzania: Tourism sector gets Usd100m World Bank funding

7) Uganda: Budget to Unlock Uganda’s Tourism Potential

East Africa Tourism Platform