Zanzibar President calls for coordinated approach by EAC Partner States to boost tourism recovery in the region
East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 11th October, 2021: The President of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council, H.E. Dr. Hussein Mwinyi, has called upon EAC Partner States to develop a coordinated approach that will be instrumental in overcoming the challenges facing the tourism sector occasioned by the outbreak of COVID-19.
Speaking during the closing ceremony of the 1st EAC Regional Tourism Expo 2021 at the TGT Grounds in Arusha, Tanzania, President Mwinyi said Partner States should continuously refine national policies and devise new programmes to deliver responsible, inclusive and sustainable tourism products that will attract more visitors from all over the world.
“It is immensely gratifying to know that the EAC Regional Tourism EXPO will play a vital role in engaging all the governments of member states of our Community and the private sector in setting the vision and direction for tourism development in the region,” said Dr. Mwinyi.
President Mwinyi told to exhibitors at the expo that an East African Legislative Assembly Report on tourists’ arrival in East Africa had proposed that Partner States’ governments should exert more in order to increase EAC’s global market share in the world tourism industry
“The report depicts that before the outbreak of COVID – 19, the EAC market share for tourist arrival In East Africa was only 8.6 percent of African Market share and 0.3 per cent of the global share,” added the president.
President Mwinyi commended the organizers and the entire steering committee of the East African Regional Tourism Expo 2021 for the remarkable job done in organizing the Expo.
“We leave here today with the hope that the tourism sector in East Africa will continue to perform strongly and contribute to the economic growth in the member states,” he said.
President Mwinyi urged international exhibitors, participants and media who participated at the EXPO to visit some of the iconic tourist sites in the region including the region’s white sandy beaches, abundant wildlife in natural habitats, scenic beauty and a geographically diverse landscape as well as cultural and historical heritage.
“It is an opportunity to explore the high snowy peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru to the Indian Ocean islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. It is a matter of fact that many of Africa’s best and most popular tourist attractions are found in region and the variety and quality is unrivaled,” he said.
In his remarks, the Minister of Tanzania’s Natural Resources and Tourism, Hon. Damas Ndumbaro, thanked the EAC Sectoral Council on Tourism and Wildlife Management for bestowing on Tanzania the opportunity to host the 1st EAC Regional Tourism Expo 2021.
Hon. Ndumbaru said the Tourism Expo 2021 would be the trailblazer on the journey towards making the region as the top tourist destination in the world.
The Minister commended all the Partner States who were able to respond to the call to the EXPO as exhibitors given the prevailing short notice and called for additional joint initiatives by the Partner States towards ensuring business recovery in the tourism sector in a post-COVID era.
On his part, the EAC Director General in charge of Customs and Trade, Mr. Kenneth Bagamuhunda, who represented the Secretary General, Hon. (Dr.) Peter Mathuki, expressed his gratitude to the United Republic of Tanzania for offering to host the EXPO and backing it up with commitment in financial resources and material resources, and the event’s Regional Steering Committee for working tirelessly to ensure that the 1st EXPO was a success.
The Director General said that all EAC Partner States comprising the public and private sector representatives including the Ministries responsible for tourism and wildlife, state corporations, hotels and lodges, tour operators and other tour service providers as well as other sectors that support the tourism sector such as banks and manufacturers participated in the EXPO.
Mr. Bagamuhunda commended the guest Ministers from the countries outside the EAC including the Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Republic of Botswana, Hon. Philda Nani Kereng; Minister of Tourism and Culture, Republic of Sierra Leone, Hon. Memunata B. Pratt; and Minister of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Kingdom of Eswatini, Hon. Moses Vilakati; for their presence as the region staged the inaugural Expo 2021.
The three-day EXPO attracted more than 100 Exhibitors, 41 international buyers from 19 countries including Israel, Poland, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Kuwait, Finland, Ukraine, Qatar, Bulgaria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Ghana, Rwanda, Botswana, South Africa, Nigeria, Zambia and Uganda.
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The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organisation of six Partner States, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania.
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