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Firms unite to bring down cost of tourism products on offer in East Africa region

By Peter Muiruri | October 28th 2015

Tourism players in East Africa have committed to bringing down the cost of tourism products in the region to boost its attractiveness.

This will be achieved through the commissioning of a price competitiveness survey, whose main aim will be to ensure uniformity of costs across the five countries.

Tourists of Sarova Salt Lick Lodge in Taita Taveta County aboard tourist vans view wildlife around the Sarova Wild Life Sanctuary in the vast Tsavo on Saturday,01st August 2015. Lodge Manager Willy Mwadillo said tourists, both Locals and International, are increasingly returning to view the Big Five at the Sanctuary and that Hoteliers now expect a tourist boom before end of the year. (PHOTO: MAARUFU MOHAMED/STANDARD)

Speaking on the sidelines of the just-concluded Magical Kenya trade exhibition, Carmen Nibigira, the regional co-ordinator of the East Africa Tourism Platform, said the survey would be conducted in partnership with source markets and tourism boards.

Its key objective will be to streamline taxes, park fees and air fares with a view to making East Africa a more affordable and attractive destination. EATP is the umbrella body of tour operators within the East African Community. “The exercise will involve studying each partner state and region’s price competitiveness with regard to taxes, levies and charges so as to inform regional and national policy reforms,” said Nibigira.

She said the survey will inform how the five countries namely Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi develop, design and price products, making them relevant to the domestic and regional markets.

“We as EATP are lobbying on behalf of private sector on the issue of high cost of domestic and regional air travel, open sky policies and the free movement of tourism vehicles and services as we continue to foster discussion around these issues,” she said.

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