ELSEWHERE in this edition, there is a story focused on Tanzania and Rwanda teaming up to maximise tourism potential between the two countries.
Tour operators from Kigali and Dodoma are said to have agreed to join forces in a bid to increase business opportunities in the lucrative sector.
The operators who met in Kigali last week did, among other things, agree to cooperate in maximising the potential offered by the tourism and hospitality sectors in the region.
The meeting saw the creation of a digital Tourism Business to Business (B2B) Trade Portal with the vision of creating linkages among operators in the tourism industry across East Africa.
They were optimistic that the partnership will improve opportunities for the two parties, since Tanzania tour operators were keenly keeping tabs with the Rwandan market.
According to the East African Community (EAC) secretariat, the sector, with steady growth as a tourism destination, still needs world-class tourist facilities, which means one thing: opportunity.
The tour operators’ partnership is interested in diversifying the sources of tourism and adding new ones.
It will also change the way they package their tour offers, thus maximising both sides of the boarder potentials.
Among those potentials is to increase the number of stay days for tourists. This way the operators also maximise revenue.
The Dodoma and Kigali tour operators’ cooperation still faces a number of challenges but they should not backpedal their effort to strengthen their agendas.
They should, on the contrary, consider those challenges as opportunities to further maximise revenues.
Also the EAC secretariat has done well for showing the bloc tourism potentials and products offered. But they are duty bound to connect the sector, especially tour operators.
Some years ago, Tanzania and Kenya were locked into a squabble whereby Nairobi banned Dodoma tour operators from picking up tourists using cars at Jomo Kenyatta Airport.
Tanzania retaliated by saying it would restrict Kenya Airways frequencies to between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam; the two sides then sat down and agreed to restore cordial ties.
This disagreement between Tanzania and Kenya should not be permitted to recur.
Instead, the two sides, or in the entire region, stakeholders should seat down and exchange notes on challenging areas and turn them into potentials.
Thus the mutual cooperation entered between Kigali and Dodoma should be supported not only by the two sides but also the entire tourism fraternity in the region.