Tanzania’s Minister of Tourism and Natural Resources Damas Ndumbaro has announced that his country is preparing to host the East African Community EAC Regional Tourism Expo (EARTE) later this year.
He made the remarks during a virtual address to Sectoral Council on Tourism and Wildlife Management early this week.
“We are more that ready to host the grand event, and we will use the platform not only to market the regional destinations, but also those found in Tanzania,” Dr Ndumbaro said while addressing fellow minister in charge of Tourism and wildlife from partner states.
Burundi was presented with the chance of hosting this inaugural event but pulled out later on, only for the Sectoral Council on Tourism and Wildlife Management to grant Tanzania the opportunity, following the laters request.
The regional Tourism Expo aims at improving the visibility of the region and marketing it as a single tourist destination.
During this meeting, the ministers considered and approved the draft regional guidelines for resumption of services in the regional tourism sector and hospitality establishments.
While approving these guidelines, the ministers agreed that there was need for the regional bloc to have harmonised guidelines for the resumption of the tourism and hospitality services .
Regional guidelines would help in ensuring coherence in resumption of tourism services and help in rebuilding trust and confidence with international tourists visiting the region.
The EAC Tourism Ministers who met under the chairmanship of Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala, noted that some partner states had already instituted measures such as the formulation of stimulus packages aimed at re-igniting the sector and supporting tourism investments in the region, including the SMEs.
These ministers also agreed that there was need for a collective and coordinated approach towards tourism recovery that entails interventions that are aimed at reinforcing the measures being developed and implemented at national levels.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has taught all of some important lessons. For instance, domestic and regional tourism markets are really key and they can help in making the tourism sector resilient in case of future disasters and pandemics.” Balala explained.
According to Balala, “the pandemic has revealed that we can use technology to connect with each other and have meetings such as this. It is therefore really important that we invest heavily in infrastructure and connectivity.”