East African Tourism Platform recognized at the UNWTO Awards
The East Africa Tourism Platform (EATP) was formed in July 2011 and is the private sector body for tourism in East Africa, fostering private sector interest and participation in the East African Community (EAC) integration process.
EATP works closely with EAC State Ministries responsible for tourism and wildlife, the East African Business Council and tourism private sector organizations towards integration of East Africa (EA) into a single tourism destination. EA as a single destination will provide a more diverse, superior tourism product than any of the partner countries singly; thus compete more favorably in the regional and global tourist market. This will positively impact the number of tourist arrivals and spend in the region as tourists are expected to stay longer to explore more, in effect boosting the region’s earnings from tourism.
EATP’s key impacts to date include successful lobby for the EA Single Tourist Visa, use of National IDs as travel documents for citizens between Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda; joint tourism marketing initiatives under the EA Northern Corridor Integration projects among others.
EATP is continually working to build its institutional capacity to deliver on its mandate, and the recently earned recognition as 1st runner up of the UNWTO Award for Innovation in Public Policy and Governance is a powerful tool for public and peer recognition of its achievements. It also serves to strengthen its networks and partnerships. This recognition demonstrates that private sector can lead in public policies formulation in tourism and EATP is at the fore front in this regard in East Africa. The Platform aims to continue to drive its mission of inter and intra-regional tourism in EAC and beyond its borders. Its ideal scenario is to see Africa bringing down barriers to tourism, trade and socio cultural development in the region.