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EAC member states urged to join forces in promoting tourism

Tourists go sightseeing at the Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya, Aug. 30, 2021. (Xinhua/Long Lei)

Burundian Vice-President Prosper Bazombanza has called on member states of the East African Community (EAC) to join forces in promotion of tourism in the region, the EAC said in a statement late Saturday.

DAR ES SALAAM, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Burundian Vice-President Prosper Bazombanza has called on member states of the East African Community (EAC) to join forces in promotion of tourism in the region, the EAC said in a statement late Saturday.

The statement issued in Tanzania's northern city of Arusha said Bazombanza also urged the member states to work together in standardization of tourism services and management of tourism resources if they are to realize the full potential of the sector in the region.

Bazombanza made the appeal when he officially opened the 2nd EAC Tourism Expo on behalf of Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye in the capital Bujumbura.

Burundian drummers perform in Bujumbura, capital city of Burundi, on Dec. 22, 2018. The drum performance, a kind of ritual dance, was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of the UN's heritage agency UNESCO in 2014. (Xinhua/Lyu Tianran)

Although EAC member states are benefitting significantly from tourism through its contribution to the gross domestic product, foreign exchange earnings, creation of jobs and the potential for the sector across the region remains largely untapped, he said.

"Application of common standards in the region will enable us enhance our competitiveness as a single tourism destination," he said.

According to the EAC, the tourism expo slated for Sept. 23 through Sept. 30 is expected to attract over 250 exhibitors from over 10 countries, 120 international and regional travel agents and buyers as well as 2,500 trade visitors.

The main objective of the tourism expo is to promote EAC as a single tourism destination.

The theme for the 2022 EXPO is "Rethinking Tourism for Social Economic Development in the East African Community."

The EAC member states are Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda. ■