Commodities

Tour firms differ on cross-border movement

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Tourists take pictures of a scenery in Uganda. Tour operators want non-tariff barriers operationalised.

Tourists take pictures of a scenery in Uganda. Tour operators want non-tariff barriers operationalised. PHOTO BY EDNA KYOKUNZIRE. 

By Dorothy Nakaweesi

Posted  Friday, February 21  2014 at  02:00

In Summary

Disagreement comes after regional leaders agreed to a single tourist visa.

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Kampala

Regional tour operators have resolved that no safari company-owned vehicles with tourists be allowed to cross borders of any of the East African states.

This means tour operators from Uganda will only be allowed to drive the tourists up to Malaba and then the Kenyan operators will move them from there to their respective destinations.

The contentious issue comes because of the dispute between Kenya and Tanzania as the latter allegedly does not want the former’s tour vehicles to cross into their territory.
Commenting about this issue, Mr Amos Wekesa, the Managing Director-Great Lakes Safaris, one of Uganda’s biggest tour operators, said what is happening is far from what the reality of the East African Common market which advocates free movement of services-under which tourism falls.

“We call upon the leadership in the East African Community to look into this because it negatively impacts the regional integration,” Wekesa said. East Africa Business Council’s executive director Andrew Luzze said as the private sector, they would like to see the issue of transport solved to allow free movement.

dnakaweesi@ug.nationmedia.com