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Newly Launched Web Portal Seeks To Boost Tourism In East Africa
Severely impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic, East Africa’s tourism sector is trying to bounce back after suffering great losses. However, instead of working to attract tourists from Europe or the United States, countries in East Africa want to boost domestic tourism as well.
In August, East Africa Tourism Platform (EATP) launched a regional web portal as part of efforts to promote the region as a single tourist destination amid the ravaging effects of COVID-19 pandemic. Called Visit East Africa (www.visiteastafrica.net), this new web portal will enable tourists to plan and book travel packages and offers from service providers of the region’s various tourist attractions in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.
According to EATP’s Chairman Fred Odek, the platform will be enhanced to include an option for tourists to provide online reviews for places visited and an e-learning system for regional travel specialists. There, tourists can easily apply for the Single Tourist Visa.
“The introduction of the portal will allow regional stakeholders to market to domestic, regional and international visitors directly. We are in discussions with more stakeholders from the other EAC countries to join the platform,” said Odek in an offiicial statement published on EATP’s website.
EATP also noted that there are over 830 regional tour operators and travel agents have registered on the platform so far.
Tourists will have access to travel information on services to the region and also for travel trade operators to place their multi-country packages in East Africa region.
“The platform will facilitate tourists from across the world to access information on products, experiences, and destinations in the Eastern Africa region all in one place,” said Anataria Karimba, Director of Business Competitiveness at TradeMark East Africa (TMEA).
“It will also enhance the availability of information in the region and accessibility to the tourism supply chain.”
EATP is a regional private sector body for tourism in East Africa, set up with the support of TradeMark East Africa in 2011 after extensive consultations with tourism stakeholders to facilitate active and focused engagement of the Private Sector in the EAC Regional Integration process.