By Samuel Ouma
Kenya and its regional counterpart Rwanda have sealed an agreement in a bid to boost tourism.
The Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA), Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and Rwanda Chamber of Tourism (RCOT), the main parties in the deal, agreed to join forces to increase cooperation between the nations to make them competitive as a tourism destination.
According to the parties, the treaty is set to be facilitated by the East African Tourism Platform (EATP).
Agnes Mucuha, the KATA Chief Executive Officer, Fred Odek, the EATP Chairman, Ambassador Richard Masozera, Rwanda's Ambassador to Kenya (representing RDB and RCOT) and Robert Okumu, RwandAir Country Manager Kenya witnessed the signing of the deal.
KATA, RDB, RCOT agreed to exchange knowledge, expertise and best practices about travel, enhance the exchange of familiarization visits between Kenya and Rwanda and spur tourists flows between Kenya and Rwanda.
Besides, there will also be sharing of the countries respective calendar of events for stakeholders' information and attendance and engagement of similar counterparts from various African regional blocks under the Continental Free Trade Area.
“We are honoured to partner with Rwanda Development Board, Rwanda Chamber of Tourism, and the East Africa Tourism Platform as this collaboration will allow for greater sharing of ideas, resources, and expertise. This partnership places Rwanda and KATA on the path to becoming a regional and continental lead in creating safe travel experiences, yet meet the needs of travellers,” reiterated Agnes Mucuha, Chief Executive, Kenya Association of Travel Agents.
“The signing of these agreements between RDB, RCOT, KATA and EATP represents a visible result of the thriving Kenya-Rwanda relationship. The partnership is also in line with our efforts to transform and build new travel and tourism industry capabilities. As we chart a new path forward for the travel sector, it is crucial to focus on growing local travel for us to help the industry tore bound,” Ambassador Richard Masozera said.
Through the partnership, Kenya’s and Rwanda’s marketing and promotional programmes will be implemented by carrying out joint marketing activities, familiarization trips and educational webinars.
RwandAir’s Country Manager for Kenya Robert Okumu pledge to support the partnership saying the RwandAir (WB) will be the Title Sponsor for the Air Tickets during the familiarization trips to Rwanda. Okumu also disclosed that the airline had released special discounted airfares and holiday packages for the Kenyans to visit the East African nation.