10 January 2014

Kenya: Tourism and Trade Executives Meet in Eldoret

County Ministers for Tourism and Trade from across the country are meeting in Eldoret to discus new measures to develop tourism and exploit trade. The leaders aim to take advantage of regional trade agreements under the East African Community.

"There are many opportunities within the region especially for counties along the borders with neighbouring countries," said Uasin Gishu Tourism executive Phillip Melly. Speaking in an interview with the Star yesterday, Melly said they will improve Kenya's tourism, to develop counties' economies.

"We have the newly introduced single entry visas for EAC residents and we can take advantage of such measures to encourage our people to engage in trade activities across the borders," said Melly who was speaking to the Star at the meeting yesterday.

The single entry visas are already being used by citizens of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. Other countries in the region have also planned to be part of the plan. Melly said the trade ministers were keen to have the counties tap into unexploited tourism opportunities in many parts of the country.

"Tourism is a key sector for this country and we believe the counties can earn increased revenues from tourism activities if we plan well to make use of the resources we have in the sector," he said.

Counties in the North Rift are already in the process of forming an economic block through which they will jointly work on investment opportunities in the regions.

Those in the plan include Uasin Gishu, Trans Nzoia, Nandi, Turkana, West Pokot and Turkana. They will jointlt market the opportnities available and use the block to market produce in the agricultural sector.

Melly says most of the counties are mapping out the investment opportunities, resources and tourism attractions which they will develop under joint programmes.

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