The partnership will focus on various initiatives across the region such as the sharing of best practices in the tourism and payments industries, promoting access to the electronic payments chain and implementing stakeholder networking forums in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
It will also see the two organisations work closely to promote card spending in the region and provide insights into payment behaviour of visiting cardholders.
Visa head of cross-border marketing for Sub-Saharan Africa Jodie Schorn said the collaboration is one way of enhancing economic development in the region.
“We continue to affirm our commitment to supporting the tourism sector as a key driver of economic development and wealth creation. We believe this collaboration will streamline revenue collection and encourage more tourist spend in the region,” he said.
“East Africa remains a leading tourist destination due to the unique attractions across the region. Enhancing the visibility of retailers’ card terminals at the point of sale is just one way we can increase inbound spending.”
The collaboration comes after Kenyan and Ugandan presidents Uhuru Kenyatta and Yoweri Museveni called for fast tracking the creation of a single East African Community (EAC) tourist visa to facilitate tourism in the region.
The region has recorded notable achievements in the tourism sector owing to the EAC partner states working together to market the region as a single destination.
EATP coordinator Waturi Matu said: “The aim of the collaboration is to maximise the efforts of East Africa Tourism Platform to promote intra- and inter-regional tourism in East Africa and to encourage the use of electronic payments in the region”, adding that electronic payments accounted for about 5 per cent of all inbound tourist spend in the region.
The collaboration with Visa will also look at measures aimed at further strengthening inflows from both emerging markets, such as China and India, and traditional markets, such as the United Kingdom, United States and Germany.
“We anticipate that the alliance will increase national and regional uptake of tourism-related services, grow electronic payment transactions, volumes and values whilst increasing access in the entire tourism value chain,” added Matu.