About 1000 regional tour operators and travel agents from the East African Community countries can now market and sell tour packages with the marketing tag ‘’Tembea Nyumbani’’ (Visit Home) at no cost.
The “Tembea Nyumbani” campaign, run and hosted by the Kigali-based East African Tourist Platform, has a portal for local and international regions to plan and book tour packages and also check offers from service providers in the region.
Tour operators, travel agents, and hotel marketers are expected to register through tour operators in their respective country to gain access to the service.
The campaign is a partnership between the private sector umbrella body, the East Africa Business Council and the EATP.
Tembea Nyumbani, is a call to EAC citizens to visit countries in the region.
As vaccination is ramped up and economic recovery efforts start, Tembea Nyumbani is expected to revive and promote domestic and regional tourism.
Besides promoting domestic and regional tourism, Tembea Nyumbani campaign is also one way of marketing the EAC region as a single destination.
“With the decline in international arrivals and recovery to pre-crisis levels not expected before 2023.
‘‘Tembea Nyumbani will provide the much needed boost to help sustain our region’s tourism destinations and businesses,” said Richard Rigimbana, East African Tourist Platform board member and chief executive of the Tourism Confederation of Tanzania.
The latest business initiative in the tourism industry serves to complement the single entry visa that the countries have been marketing to tourists and whose uptake has been sluggish.
Before its launch in 2014, tourists required separate visas for each country visited, a process that discouraged visitors from extending their travel beyond the national borders of the country they were in.
The East African multi-entry Single Tourists Visa has largely failed to take off as member states have failed to streamline their national visa policies. Since its launch in February 2014, the visa has attracted only 4,000 tourists.
In 2017, Tanzania, however, appeared to have been isolated further in efforts to market East Africa a single tourism destination, after Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda launched a portal to jointly market their tourism products online.
Frederick Odhiambo Odek, chairman of the East African Tourism Platform said; “We wish to call upon the EAC partner states to sustain tax and statutory deductions for the tourism sector as this will go a long way in supporting its recovery.”
The sector has welcomed the UK’s decision to remove Kenya from its controversial ‘Red List’ despite remaining Covid certification hurdles. Travellers from Kenya will be exempted from compulsory hotel quarantine, although they may be required to isolate for 10 days and take tests.
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