Tourism players are arm-twisting their governments to harmonise Covid-19 protocols to ease movement of tourists in the region, as they become the only bet, after lowering expectations they had from their traditional key source markets of Europe, USA and China.
The Covid-19 resurgence in the UK and other European countries late last year has dampened hopes of getting tourists from these markets, where even those that had booked cancelled, leaving local and regional tourists the only bet for tourism businesses to survive.
“We face cancellations and low bookings and have realised we shouldn’t count on traditional key source markets” said Yves Ngenzi, the technical adviser to the East African Tourism Platform.
He said, as some of these countries go back into lockdown, and others put new restrictions on foreign travel, EAC countries should at least harmonise their Covid-19 protocols, and discard those that are cumbersome and expensive.
The platform recently petitioned regional governments, pointing out some of these key pain points that travellers face, asking them to make adjustments.
Prior to arrival, all EAC member states require travellers to take Covid-19 test hours before departure and present negative test certificates at the airports.