The East Africa Tourism Platform (EATP) has announced a three-month campaign dubbed “TembeaNyumbani” designed to lure travellers from East African Community (EAC) Partner States.
“TembeaNyumbani” means in Swahili language ” Visit Home”. It is a call to the citizens of the countries in the East African Community to visit each other’s countries — in an effort to promote domestic and regional tourism business. The campaign wants also to emphasise that an East African visitor should feel home in any other East African country.
The East Africa Tourism Platform, comprising Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, was established in July 2011 after extensive consultations with tourism stakeholders. It became operational on April 2, 2012, with the support of TradeMark East Africa. The platform promotes intra- and inter-regional tourism through advocacy, marketing, skills development, research and information sharing. It works closely with national ministries responsible for tourism, hospitality, wildlife, transport portfolios, the EAC Secretariat, TradeMark East Africa (TMEA), the East African Business Council (EABC) and private sector organisations in all EAC Partner States.
Managed in partnership with stakeholders, the campaign will promote different tourist packages within the region. It aims to spur tourism business within the region by showcasing the many hidden gems as well as the affordability of the proposed holiday packages. The EATP estimates that domestic and regional markets show more resilience due to the Covid-19 pandemic and that domestic and regional tourism markets are thus very important; in such situations, they can help make the tourism sector resilient.
More than 830 regional tour operators and travel agents will now be able to market and sell their packages through TembeaNyumbani. More travel operators are welcome to join the platform, at no cost, by registering through their respective country’s tour associations.
Different discounted packages for East Africans are available on the TembeaNyumbani platform. The site features various tourist attractions, culinary experiences, tour offers and diverse travel experiences in the EAC.
It is expected that the generated increase for travelling within the region will contribute to reviving the tourism industry. The tourism industry is a lifeline for millions of people in East Africa.
Strengthening East Africa’s tourism activities
Before the Covid-19 crisis, tourism contributed to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of EAC Partner States by 9.5% on average in 2019. It contributed an average of 17.2% to EAC total exports and 7.1% to employment. Research shows that EAC Partner States lost international tourism receipts up to €4bn in the year 2020, while two million tourism jobs in the region disappeared.
Speaking during the official campaign launch, EATP Board Member and CEO of the Tourism Confederation of Tanzania, Richard Rugimbana, declared: “The tourism economy is at a crossroads. The coronavirus has heavily hit it, but this pandemic also brought us opportunities to explore new markets, open up new destinations, encourage innovation as well as think new and sustainable tourism development models.
“The crisis is an opportunity to think about the present and the future. With the hard-hitting decline in international arrivals and recovery to pre-crisis levels not expected before 2023, TembeaNyumbani will provide the much-needed boost to help sustain our region’s many tourism destinations and businesses. Besides promoting domestic and regional tourism, this campaign will be a key driver of business recovery in the short to medium term.”