Tanzania is set to host the inaugural East African Community (EAC) Regional Tourism Expo (EARTE) later this year. The country grabbed the opportunity after Burundi's failure to stage the annual event.

Addressing a virtual Sectoral Council on Tourism and Wildlife Management here at the weekend, Tourism and Natural Resources Minister Damas Ndumbaro expressed his delight over the opportunity, vowing to use it to market the country's tourist destinations. Dr. Ndumbaro also agreed to establish the annual EAC Regional Tourism Expo (EARTE) with the aim of improving the visibility of the region and marketing it as a single tourist destination.

"We are more than ready to host the grand event, and we'll use the platform not only to market the regional destinations, but also those found in our country," said Dr. Ndumbaro while addressing fellow ministers charged with Tourism and Wildlife from the Partner States. Burundi was presented with the honour of hosting the inaugural event but pulled out later on, only for the Sectoral Council on Tourism and Wildlife Management to grant Tanzania the opportunity, following the latter's request.

The Regional Tourism Expo aims at improving the visibility of the region and marketing it as a single tourist destination. During the meeting, the Ministers considered and approved the draft regional guidelines for resumption of services in the tourism sector and hospitality establishments.

While approving the guidelines, the Ministers agreed that there was need for EAC harmonized guidelines for resumption of the tourism and hospitality services in the region. The Ministers observed that the regional guidelines would help in ensuring coherence in resumption of tourism services and help in rebuilding trust and confidence with international tourists visiting the region.

Ministers Ndumbaro also considered and approved the draft Regional Tourism Marketing Strategy, which seeks to position the EAC region as the best and most affordable regional tourism destination in Africa.