, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 22 – East Africa Tourism Platform (EATP) was crowned first runners up of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) award for innovation in public policy and governance for its multi-destination knowledge management tool at the 12th UNWTO Awards.
EATP was among 17 projects from Africa, Latin America, Asia and Europe that were selected from a total of 109 candidacies, as finalist of the 12th UNWTO Awards on excellence and innovation in tourism.
The award recognizes initiatives that are highly innovative and managed by a public or public-private institution that reflects tangible and sustainable improvements in policy, processes, and governance.
Speaking after receiving the award on behalf of the five countries, EATP Regional Coordinator Carmen Nibigira says the multi-destination knowledge management tool developed by EATP was awarded for its works towards an inclusive model of tourism governance which involves diverse tourism stakeholders.
“Through this tool, regional tourism stakeholders have started trading each other’s products, packaging tourism products without borders, bench-marking among themselves and learning from each other. We are one people, but with a rich cultural diversity that needs to be tapped and harnessed for the benefit of developing tourism and our economies at large” said Nibigira.
EATP’s multi-destination tool is an online instrument that will see over 10,000 tourism operators across the East African region trained and exposed to cross selling products across the five countries.
EATP is credited for advocating for the single tourist visa, use of national IDs as travel documents for citizens between Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, free movement of tourism services, partial liberalisation of EAC air space and joint marketing initiatives which is mainly under the East Africa Northern Corridor.
These initiatives have already started having positive effects on regional travel.
Other initiatives such as joint marketing initiatives, technical support for national associations or harmonization of standards and codes of conduct of tourism facilities and services are ongoing and will enhance the regional destination competitiveness.