Several East African tourism companies – the Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA), Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Rwanda Chamber of Tourism (RCT) and the East African Tourism Platform (EATP) – have signed a partnership that will see the development of business and leisure travel in the East African community.
The partnership will see the parties co-operate to implement Rwanda’s and Kenya's tourism marketing and promotional programmes by conducting joint-marketing activities that will drive increased tourism numbers to both countries.
The respective tourism bodies will also organise familiarisation trips and educational webinars to promote regional travel, thereby creating increased opportunities for private-sector actors in the travel industry.
A spokesperson for the RDB said the framework would enhance co-operation between the parties and improve the region's competitiveness as a tourism destination.
“As part of the agreement, the partners will collaborate on addressing challenges faced in the region’s travel industry and explore a range of solutions and initiatives that can help transform businesses in the sector, market the region’s tourism offerings to new audiences and promote regional travel,” said the spokesperson.
Commenting on the partnership, Clare Akamanzi, RDB CEO, said: “We look forward to working more closely across the board with all the players in the travel and tourism industry as we look to increase tourism revenues and create more jobs within the sector.”
Aimable Rutagarama, Chairman of RCT, added that Rwanda and Kenya were already popular destinations with local and foreign visitors alike, noting that this increased co-operation between the two countries would see an uptick in the number of travellers interested in visiting both countries.
Agnes Mucuha, Chief Executive, KATA said: “This partnership will shape the course of regional tourism.”
“This is the best time for the region to come together to grow its tourism and the associated economic gains for its industry players,” added Fred Odek, Chairperson of EATP.
RwandAir Country Manager for Kenya, Robert Okumu, said the airline would be the title sponsor for the air tickets for the familiarisation trips to Rwanda.
“The signing of these agreements represents a visible result of the thriving Kenya-Rwanda relationship. The partnership is also in line with our efforts to transform and build new travel and tourism industry capabilities. As we chart a new path forward for the travel sector, it is crucial to focus on growing local travel for us to help the industry to rebound,” said Rwandan Ambassador, Richard Masozera.