2011/2012 Yearbook Tourism

Single tourism visa for EA

The East African tourist circuit is gearing for a big boost following proposals to transform it into a single destination. When this happens, tourists visiting East Africa will only require a single visa to visit Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. The five countries have a combined market force of 135 million people and an estimated GDP of $74.5 billion (Kshs6.333 trillion). The countries have a wide range of tourist products that complement each other and, therefore, enable the region to capture a huge market. The issue of a single tourist destination has been one of the highlights of the East African Community (EAC).

The process that started in 2008 has taken rather long and tourism ministers from the five countries have promised to hasten it. Already, work on a code of conduct for the private sector is ongoing. There is also good progress towards the standardisation of the accommodation process and harmonised tourism and wildlife conservation policies across the countries. The five countries have also agreed to form the East African Tourism and Wildlife Cooperation Agency to coordinate tourism promotional activities.