Travel Operators To Grow Big In Business With Single Tourist Visa

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Local tour and travel operators are set to grow big in business regionally with the use of the single tourist visa.

Last week, Serena Hotels in partnership with RwandAir met local tour and travel operators to enhance their knowledge region’s tourist attractions.

Speaking at the meeting, Rosemary Mugambi, the director of sales and marketing at Serena Hotels said the meeting was to give tour operators opportunity to grow their businesses regionally.

“We want travel agents and tour operates to know what Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda offer in terms of tourism and how they can market all these countries,” Mugambi is quoted by The NewTimes .

Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya entered arrangement early this year to market the three countries as a single tourist destination.

Under the single visa, a tourist to the three countries pays $100 at the country of entry or the respective foreign missions abroad. Previously, Uganda and Kenya charged $50 while it cost $40 in Rwanda.

“Discussing the opportunities presented by the single tourist visa also gives us a chance to understand how to sell them better to visitors,” Joseph Birori, the chairperson of Rwanda Tours and Travel Association said.

East Africa has a variety of tourist attractions, including the rare mountain gorillas, cultural and historical sites as well as a beautiful coast line, but not all tour operators have a full knowledge of this rich potential.

Alice Katiti of Rwandair told The Sunday Times that Rwandair is positioning itself to boost regional integration.

“We promote the single tourist visa initiative because it will enhance traffic flow within the region. Once we get East Africans to move around the region, the region become more united and attractive to outsiders,” she said.

Statistics from the Rwanda Development Board indicated that tourism earned the country $293.6 million last year, up from $281.8 million in 2012.

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