EAC in new campaign to revive tourism industry affected by Covid-19 | New times

The East African Community (EAC) on Wednesday (November 24) launched a new regional media campaign on tourism as part of the plans to implement the tourism recovery plan of the six-member bloc.

Speaking at the launch at EAC headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania, EAC General Secretary Peter Mathuki noted that the new campaign is supported by GIZ following a request from the Secretariat to support Covid-19 recovery initiatives.

The new media campaign on tourism aligns with a similar campaign recently launched by the East African Tourism Platform (EATP) to ensure synergies and avoid duplication.

The campaign continues to use the theme under ‘Tembea Nyumbani’ which has been developed as part of the EATP campaign pending full branding of EAC as a tourist destination in line with the approved tourism marketing strategy of the EAC, in order to avoid giving mixed messages, ”Mathuki said.

“The campaign will start on December 1 and will last for three weeks. About two months ago we launched a series of tourism exhibitions and we will do it on a rotating basis. Next year we hope to be in Burundi and the other year in Rwanda.

Yves Ngenzi, EATP coordinator, who followed the online launch said New times that the campaign dubbed “Tembea Nyumbani” they launched in September has so far generated increased interest in travel to the region.

He said: “Over two million have been reached through digital and media marketing campaigns and 32 multi-destination packages uploaded to the portal. Over 600 interest recorded for booking 27 lead conversions packages through the online portal valued at $ 45,000.

“We hope that the new partnerships with EAC and GIZ will help revive the tourism industry, which is a lifeline for millions of people.”

The region has lost considerable tourism revenue due to the pandemic, Mathuki noted, and the revival “now calls for a collective responsibility to tell the whole world that we are ready to receive you.”

Mathuki said, “This is a deliberate effort to promote tourism in our region.”

Jean-Baptiste Havugimana, director of the productive sector at the EAC secretariat, said the main objectives of the campaign include raising awareness of national and regional tourism products and related services among East Africans and stimulating travel. intra-regional.

It also aims to initiate and “facilitate a conversation about the value of tourism between citizens, service providers and policy makers; and make East African tourism ambassadors who travel to their country and the region and promote national and regional tourism throughout the region.

To achieve its goals, the campaign will combine all aspects of media communication such as television, radio, newspapers and social media, and communication material will include photographs, videos and articles.

This will ensure that all messaging and communication strategies are consistent and focused on the target audience.

Havugimana said the main goal of the campaign will be to target the holiday season vacations in major coastal and inland resort destinations, wildlife safaris to popular destinations “aimed at increasing occupancy rates of beds ”, as well as exploring less visited parks in East Africa and adventure in one’s own country or across borders, such as mountaineering, hiking, youth camps and road trips.

Tourist projections

Simon Kiarie, EAC Senior Tourism Officer, said: “The EAC predicts that with aggressive tourism efforts at regional and national levels, the region will be able to accommodate around four million tourists in 2022. In addition, it The tourism sector is expected to have a full recovery by 2024, or around seven million compared to 2.25 million registered tourists in 2020. “

He noted that the Council of Ministers ordered that EAC citizens visiting public tourist attraction sites in all partner states such as national parks and reserves be charged at local rates as opposed to foreign tourist rates.

“This was aimed at promoting intra-regional tourism in the EAC. The directive has been respected by all partner states.

Affordable packages

Kiarie said the tourist accommodation industry in the region has also been urged to offer EAC citizens resident rates at their facilities.

“This has been widely adopted by accommodation establishments in the region, which recognize EAC citizens as locals. “

On October 26, members of the East Africa Legislative Assembly Committee on Agriculture, Tourism and Natural Resources agreed that it made sense to have affordable promotional tourism packages in order to revive industry after the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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