Rwandan and Kenyan travel and tour operators have partnered to strengthen tourism in their respective countries. This followed a meeting between the Rwanda Travel and Tour Association (RTTA) and a 17-man delegation from Kenya in Kigali.
Members from the Kenya Association of Travel Agents, the Kenya Association of Tour Agents and the East African Tourism Platform and their Rwandan counterparts attended the one-day meeting at the Kigali Serena Hotel on Monday.
“It’s a great honour to work with Kenyan tourism stakeholders...We are ready to share our experience and we hope we’ll learn a lot from you as we try to find ways to develop tourism in East Africa,” noted Manzi Kayihura, the president of the Rwanda Tours and Travel Association.
Waturi Matu, the East Africa Tourism Platform co-ordinator, said it was important for tourism industry stakeholders in Rwanda and Kenya to work together, and also identify tourism products that could be jointly promoted.
“This will help us develop business-to-business deals that can help increase tourists numbers in both countries,” Matu pointed out.
Matu explained that Kenyan tour operators were in Rwanda to find ways on how to remove barriers that were hindering the growth tourism in East Africa.
Matu added that the move was in line with the treaty that was signed by East African Community Heads of State to promote the region as a single tourism destination.
“We’ve been performing well as a region at international tourism fairs, but very little has been done to promote East Africa as a single tourism destination.”
Matu said they would also start promoting tourism among East Africans to maximise benefits and revenue from the sector.
The East Africa Tourism Platform was launched in Kigali in July 2012 to reduce obstacles to intra and inter-regional tourism, promote a regional tourism marketing approach and encourage continued human resource development and skills transfer.
It also aimed at promoting harmonised standards and codes of conduct for tourism facilities and services.
RwandAir, SN Brussels and Serena Hotel sponsored the meeting.Follow https://twitter.com/BryanKimenyi