Three East African countries can now jointly market their tourism products on line with the launch of the first joint East African destination portal.

Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) CEO Betty Radier joined other top tourism officials from Uganda and Rwanda in unveiling the platform at the Pearl of Africa Trade Expo held at the Serena Kampala in Uganda over the weekend.

This is according to a KTB statement issued on Sunday.

“The portal will be a shared platform for tourism trade operators to place their multi-country packages promoting Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda; and provide a new channel to reach regional and international audiences.”

It would also allow access to tourism information on products, experiences, and destinations all on a single platform with the aim of enhancing availability of information in the region as well as accessibility to the tourism supply chain.

“The launch of the portal comes in stride with East Africa striving to work together for the betterment of her people. If ever there was a better time for Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya to come together it is now. Our economies are growing stronger and travel has been made easier due to the great improvements in our infrastructure,” says Radier.

“The fact that member countries can easily access each other’s countries by road, rail, or even short distance flights should encourage more inter-country visits. Why travel the world when one has not explored the amazing beauty that East Africa as a whole has to offer?” she asked.

The KTB attended the expo aiming to strengthen Kenya’s ties with Uganda and Rwanda to form a formidable destination product. Radier challenged the East African community to have a taste of both worlds business and leisure at affordable rates by exploring what lay within East Africa.

“On behalf of our country Kenya and as a destination, we take this opportunity to welcome you all to visit Kenya and enjoy the best of both worlds.”

She reiterated Kenya’s commitment to placing East Africa on the map by promoting sustainability of Kenya as a destination product for generations to come.

“With the year 2017 being the year of sustainable tourism it is important for East Africa to partake in implementing sustainable tourism practices to ensure that the countries remain as choice destinations in Africa.”

Uganda was the regional leading source of tourists to Kenya.

Last year, the market recorded a remarkable growth of 75.7% increase in air arrivals, closing at 51,023 exclusive of cross border arrivals, up from 29 038 recorded in 2015, says Radier.

– By ANA