Arusha. Stakeholders in the hospitality industry in the East African Community (EAC) bloc are calling for improved welfare to the workers in order increase productivity and take the region to another level through attracting more foreign and domestic tourists.
"We all have similar challenges but there is plenty of room for improvement", remarked Said Mwamba, the secretary general of Chodawu, a local umbrella body for workers in the hotel and conservation sector.
He made the remarks in Arusha recently during a meeting of the stakeholders from the six EAC partner states; Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Burundi, Rwanda and South Sudan.
They convened in Arusha, the EAC headquarters, to discuss challenges facing the tourism industry, the leading sector in foreign exchange generation and one of the top employers.
The other key agenda in a seminar organized by the International Labour Organization (ILO) was on how to improve the welfare of thousands of employees working in the hospitality industry.
The ILO regional director for East Africa Wellington Chibebe challenged the employers to ensure their workers were well renumerated and that there should not be any discrimination of their other basic rights.
Jacquiline Wamai and Kiiza Hamet from Kenya and Uganda respectively called for uniform policy for employees of the hospitality industry in the region, noting that challenges facing them were similar.