East African countries commit to advance regional tourism cooperation

East African countries commit to advance regional tourism cooperation

The first UNWTO East Africa Tourism Development Forum brought together Tourism Ministers and representatives from East Africa and the Vanilla Islands to explore areas of further regional cooperation.

In an effort to unlock the tourism potential of East Africa, the first UNWTO East Africa Tourism Development Forum gathered regional tourism leaders and stakeholders in Mombasa to identify opportunities to maximize sustainable tourism development through regional collaboration.

Opening the Forum, the Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya, William Samoei Ruto, said “Tourism is a critical component of the East African economy and an important part of our common destiny. Our biggest challenge is to work together to improve every aspect of the experience we offer to our visitors, from their arrival at the airport, their movement within and across our countries, the accommodation and facilities that we offer, and the affordability across all income brackets. We are better, stronger and more attractive together than individually. This Forum presents an opportunity to compare notes on our experiences, programmes and aspirations in the development of tourism in our region”.

“UNWTO maintains great confidence in the East African Community s ability to position itself as a leading tourism destination, by delivering one compelling, highly competitive offering. In this context, I wish to welcome the recent introduction of the East Africa Tourist Visa, which allows travel be- tween Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, boosting regional tourism and creating opportunities for tourists to explore the diversity of multiple destinations in the region,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai.

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