The East African Tourism Platform (EATP) was officially opened in the Rwanda’s capital city Kigali yesterday and today Saturday will be naming all baby gorillas that have no names in Kinigi, Northern Province. Richard Rugimbana who is also the chairman of the platform mentioned that they came up with this idea of setting up this organ last year to draw the attention of public to the private sector operating in the tourism industry.
She said that the tourism industry is currently facing similar problems within all partner states; they are having similar aspiration and similar products that is why they chose to come together so that they make their voice heard. The official added that the platform will mostly help them reduce barriers to move from one country to another and will also help members to promote tourism products on one market so that they can competition favorably among the players.
However, Manzi Kayihura the vice chairman looks at the platform a way of giving the tourism sector a guarantee to take part in decision making at EAC level especially now that there are so many activities being done at EAC level and the private sector has often not been consulted. For example, the plans to start issuing out a single tourism visa, not consultations were made about it and yet they are the main players. Through the platform, hopefully their voice will be heard so said Manzi.
More to this, Edwin Sabuhoro, head of tourism chamber at the Private Sector Federation said the platform will bring together all operators in tourism from partner states so that they can know each other, exchange ideas and learn from each other to boost tourism industry in the whole bloc. This will be the second official opening of this kind of activity in East Africa following the first one which was in Tanzania the previous week and very soon the rest of the countries will follow.
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