LIFT ME TO REGIONAL TOURISM EXPO
With Odongo Odoyo
The reality is coming home knocking for the good of the East Africa Community. Next month, the United Republic of Tanzania in conjunction with the EAC Secretariat will host a three-day Regional Tourism EXPO which will be followed by a familiarization trip for hosted international buyers and media to some of the iconic tourist sites in the region from 12th to 16th October, 2021. As a region, East Africa is endowed with a unique combination of tourist attractions. This is good news coming at this time just when the tourism sector in this country had asked for the protection of its wildlife and flora and fauna. What a time to embark on the expected guests to the expo to have a glimpse of the beautiful tourists’ attractions which have not been tapped far too long. The Ministry and departments concerned should not take it for granted and should start working on the plans of bringing tourists home now and in future. This market should be opened and those standing outside the gate welcomed home. It is understood that it takes time to build an institution or develop a sector. This can only be difficult if there was nothing on the ground and all were being started from skeleton. But here at least there is a department and a government willing to venture in the sector and promote its activities for the benefit of the entire nation. There are a number of key players in the tourism sector in the country and beyond who should be engaged to help sell and promote the industry. Immediately the doors are opened and the sites and national parks kept to the required stand, the sector would on its own earn the country the much-needed revenue for the development of the sector and other infrastructures aimed at accelerating and boosting the economic growth. Something tells me or is nagging me that if the agricultural and tourisms sectors came into being with proper managements, the sky couldbe the limit and there would be no more relying on oil as the only major source of revenue generation. We have witnessed what is happening in the non-oil sector revenue generation since the National Revenue Authority (NRA) came into life. Nobody will come and do it for us except you and me. Time does not wait. Time for that is now and we must collaborate to bring it to the reality of the masses who are the citizens and tax-payers. If there would be any space left, l would like to be included in next month’s delegation to the expo to learn and get more knowledge to help me develop the sector. It could be by engaging of contacts for future plan or borrowing ideas from those who have been in the field longer than myself. But l know with good approach the impact of collaboration would be felt sooner than later. We should not ignore any chance that comes our way and that which can help us develop our own.