Tourism in East Africa

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East Africa comprises of five neighbouring member states: Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda. These countries are bound as a community through a political treaty that came into effect on the 7th of July 2000 which ratified the establishment of the East African Community (Eac.int, 2014).
Tourism receipts in developing countries can amount to more than 20 percent of the total value of exports which makes it a very significant pillar for these economies (Ondicho,2000,pp-49-70). Like all developing countries, the East African Community (EAC) member nations are dependent on the export of primary commodities whose prices are prone to uncertainty and erratic fluctuations. As a result, tourism remains one of the few alternative industries available to these countries in diversifying their sources of foreign exchange (Ondicho, 2000, pp-49-70).
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), tourism’s contribution to Sub-Saharan Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2012 was USD 36.0 Billion (2.8% of GDP) and was forecast to rise by 4.2% to USD 37.5 Billion in 2013 with growth expected to average 5.1% per annum to USD 61.9 Billion by 2023(Turner, 2013, p.3) .
Tourism has the potential to propel economic development whilst addressing social ills such as poverty and rampant unemployment given the failure of the traditional sectors such as agriculture to bring about meaningful socio-economic transformation (United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, 2011).
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