Impact Assessment of COVID-19 Pandemic on the Tourism and Hospitality Industry in the EAC and Post Recovery Strategy for the Sector

Tourism is one of the largest foreign exchange earners and fastest-growing sectors in the East African Community (EAC). According to the EAC Secretariat, tourist arrivals in the EAC region increased from 3.5 million persons in 2006 to about 7 million in 2019. Tourism contributed to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the EAC Partner States by an average of 9.5% in 2019. It contributed an average of 17.2% to EAC total exports and 7.1% to employment. However, the upward trajectory in tourism in the region was devastatingly affected by the onset of COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. The study aimed at assessing the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism and hospitality industry, and to generate policy options that the EAC Partner States should adopt to protect sector players from COVID-19 disruptions and future pandemics.