Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and Rwanda Chamber of Tourism (RCT) have inked an agreement with the Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA) and the East African Tourism Platform (EATP) to develop business and leisure travel in the East African Community.
Signed this week in Nairobi Kenya, the deal will see RDB, RCT and KATA work together to implement tourism marketing and promotional programs of both countries (Rwanda and Kenya) by conducting joint-marketing activities that will drive visitors to the countries' attractions and experiences.
Under the deal, the signatory parties will also organise familiarization trips and educational webinars to promote regional travel, aimed at creating increased opportunities for private sector actors in the travel industry.
"As part of the agreement, the partners will collaborate on addressing challenges faced in the region's travel industry and explore a range of solutions and initiatives that can help transform businesses in the sector; market the region's tourism offerings to new audiences and promote regional travel," read a statement from RDB, concerning the deal.
Among other activities agreed upon, RDB, RCT and KATA will work to provide opportunities for exchanging knowledge, expertise and best practices on travel; promote the exchange of familiarisation visits between Kenya and Rwanda; encourage tourists flows between Kenya and Rwanda and share the countries' respective calendars of events for stakeholders information and attendance.
"We are very excited about this cooperation and look forward to working more closely across the board with all the players in the travel and tourism industry as we look to increase tourism revenues and create more jobs within the sector. Kenya and Rwanda are already one of the most popular destinations for the growing regional tourism market and we look forward to having more people visit and taste the unique offerings in these destinations," said Clare Akamanzi, the Chief Executive Officer of RDB, commenting on the partnership.
Aimable Rutagarama the Chairman of RCT said increased cooperation between Rwanda and Kenya in tourism will see an uptick in the number of travellers interested in visiting both countries,
"Today's strategic partnership lays strong foundations to tap the potential of Kenya and Rwanda as promising traveller destinations for the regional and international market," he said.
Agnes Mucuha the Chief Executive of KATA said the collaboration will allow 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," she said.
Robert Okumu, RwandAir's Country Manager for Kenya said the national career will be the sponsor for the air tickets during the familiarization trips to Rwanda "facilitating the much-needed product knowledge and experience."
He added that RwandAir has also released special discounted airfares and holiday packages for the Kenyan public to visit and explore Rwanda.
Richard Masozera, Rwanda's envoy to Kenya said the partnership is in line with 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 to rebound," he said.