Aug 22, 2012
NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 22 – Stakeholders in the Tourism
Industry from Comesa countries are gathered in Nairobi in
the first forum ever to look into the best development
approach of the tourism sector in the region.
One of the main agenda will be to discuss – how to push
their various governments to have a single travel visa
within the region.
Speaking while opening the forum, Tourism Minister Danson
Mwazo – said despite the region having most of the best
tourist destinations, citizens from the region still have
difficulties in visiting these countries and prefer going to
other countries outside the region.
“One of the things we are going to agree among the
stakeholders in the Comesa region is to have borderless
movement, so that both domestic and even international
tourists can move freely from one country to the other,”
He added that the stakeholders are also planning to come
with strategies of marketing Comesa countries as a region
and improve its image which he said has been spoilt over
time by the media.
“We have realised that it is a high time we package and
present ourselves in a positive way, than what the western
media portray Africa. We have always been seen as a war
people, struggling with hunger and many other negative
issues, yet we have so much to offer in terms of tourism
attraction,” -the minister said.
There are also plans to pass a resolution on funds
allocations whereby they will push their governments to set
5 percent of the budgets to the tourism sector.
He laments that up to now, several countries are still
getting zero funding from the government to develop the
“We are planning to make this recommendation to the policy
makers or legislatures, because tourism in purely
marketing,” he said.
The public-private dialogue, which is being held under the
theme “Shaping the Future of Tourism in Comesa”, brings
together over 70 regional participants from tourism boards,
investment promotion agencies, tourism businesses and
The meeting is being hosted by the Comesa -Secretariat in
cooperation with Kenya’s Ministry of Tourism. It has been
organized through the support of the Comesa Business Council
in partnership with the Kenya Investment Authority and the
Kenya Tourism Board.
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC),
Africa receives 4.8 percent of all tourist arrivals in the
The 19 member-states region has a population of 430 Million