The East African Community is already preparing for the second EAC Regional Tourism EXPO (EARTE’22) that will be hosted by Burundi in Bujumbura from September 23 – 30.
The main objective of the EXPO is to promote EAC as a single tourism destination, provide a platform for tourism service providers’ business-to-business (B2B) engagements, create awareness of tourism investment opportunities and address the challenges affecting the tourism and wildlife sectors in the region.
The theme for the 2022 EXPO is “Rethinking Tourism for Social Economic Development in the East African Community " which resonates with the United Nations World Tourism Day theme that provokes tourism destinations and stakeholders around the world to remodel tourism following the devastating impact of COVID-19 in the Sector.
The EXPO will kick off with registration of exhibitors and a networking event on September 23, followed by three days of exhibitions, seminars and an investment forum from September 24-26 at Cercle Hippique de Bujumbura grounds and World Tourism Day Celebrations on September 27.
The hosted buyers, comprising international travel agents and travel trade partners -- will be taken on familiarization trips to different tourist sites in Burundi from September 27-30.
Speaking ahead of the EXPO, Christophe Bazivamo, EAC Deputy Secretary General in Charge of Productive and Social Sectors -- said that there are strong signs of tourism recovery in all the EAC Partner States.
“We have noted that the tourism business is coming back and we are confident that by 2024 the region will have fully recovered. We have all it takes including unmatched scenery, abundant wildlife, rich culture and opportunities for business to ensure that tourism in the region is vibrant,” he said.
He further noted that “the upcoming EXPO will undoubtedly play a very instrumental role in tourism recovery as it provides an opportunity for Partner States to tell potential travelers from all over the world and within the region that all EAC Partner States are ready to receive them and they can indeed enjoy multi-destination tourism packages.”
In addition, the EAC official disclosed that the preparations by the Burundi National Organizing Committee with support from the EAC Secretariat and Regional Steering Committee are in high gear and the Government of the Republic of Burundi is really committed to ensure that the 2nd EXPO is held successfully.”
Bazivamo encouraged all tourism service providers in EAC to take advantage of the EXPO to showcase their offerings and engage with buyers from the region as well as from around the world”.
The 2022 EXPO is expected to attract over 250 exhibitors from over 10 countries, 120 international and regional travel agents and buyers as well as 2500 trade visitors.