The East African Community Common Market Protocol on Kenya’s Tourism Sector
Abstract: The main aim of this study is to investigate the effects of East Africa Common Market on Kenya’s Tourism Sector. Research questions include establishing the effects of: free movement of: goods; labor; Services; and Capital. This study adopted a descriptive research design. This was done by evaluating key Tourism–related policies including: EAC Treaty, the EAC Customs Union Protocol, EAC Common Market Protocol, the National Tourism Strategy 2030; Competition Policy; Investment Policy; Migration Policies and financial sector laws and regulations in tourism sector. Additionally, key informant interviews were conducted with senior public officials from relevant ministries, chambers of commerce and Kenya Tourism Federation. The target population was 294 members from the above mentioned entities, random stratified sampling was applied to get 147 respondents. The study found that free movement of goods, persons, services and finance positively affects tourism in Keya in that it: has steadily contributed to the GDP of the country; has increased on the revenue base for players in the sector after hitting the 2 million mark on tourists arrival with each tourist spending about 2000 US dollars; tourists from the region is almost 100,000 compared with less than 10,000 before the protocol came into being; Kenya has became a host to international conferences; it takes an average of 37 minutes for tourist to clear at Busia border compared down from two hours, also of the over 894 vehicles that cross the border daily basis, 1/3 are tourist related. The study also found out that EAC CMP implementation is faced with plentiful challenges in that member states are signing laws but taking long to localize them thereby causing a clash. The study recommendations that: EAC to ensure compliance with community laws; sectoral committees and working groups be given more powers to tackle and determine some of teething problems such as NTB’s, service liberation and harmonization of tax; research on effects of EAC CMP on other sectors as study was particularly looking at Kenya’s tourism sector. This study is likely to benefit global partners, EAC, partner states, researchers and scholars.
Key Words: Economic Community Treaty, Customs Union and Common Market