Statistics from UTB shows that tourism number have grown from 1.27 million to 1.5 million over the last five years
Kampala, Uganda | PATRICIA AKANKWATSA | Uganda Airlines and Uganda Tourism Board signed a memorandum of understanding to combine their efforts to promote the tourism potential of Brand Destination Uganda in the next three years.
The MoU signing was witnessed by among others Moses Ali, the First Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Leader of Government Business in Parliament on Feb.5.
The two entities share a responsibility to develop the tourism industry in Uganda and will collaborate to promote the country as a destination, its people, culture, environment and attractions.
Uganda Airlines will among other commitments promote Brand Destination Uganda in its numerous platforms, online, in-flight and on the ground at its sales offices in cities and airports across the world with Brand Destination Uganda messages.
Similarly, UTB will through their respective tourism promotional campaigns and platforms present Uganda Airlines as the most convenient way to travel to Uganda. This will include, but is not limited to: promotional materials, online platforms including website, social media platforms as well as other multimedia and experiential campaigns.
The two organisations agreed to work together to run joint marketing and market research as well as collaborate in enabling Uganda’s other tourism players to participate in major African and international exhibitions.
This will also include jointly organised familiarisation trips for travel agents, tour operators, press and bloggers, aimed at encouraging travellers to visit Destination Uganda and fly Uganda Airlines.
The two organisations will also jointly develop Visit Uganda tour and travel packages for special events and holidays on Uganda Airline as well as develop new tourism products especially in ears of MICE (Meetings, Conferences and Events).
Uganda Airlines CEO, Cornwell Muleya, said the partnership was both in line with their mandate and timely as the airline embarks on the next phase of its route expansion plans.
“We are excited to work with UTB to promote Uganda, its resources, its people and culture around the world – that is the essence of this partnership,” he said.
This development comes as statistics from the tourism ministry and UTB shows that tourism number have grown by 19% from 1.27 million to 1.5 million over the last five years.
In terms of foreign exchange, earnings from visitors grew by 22% from US$1.31 billion to US$1.6 billion in the same period- an average growth of 4% per year.
Ajarova welcomed the partnership and noted that it’s aligned to UTBs strategic plans to both actively position Uganda as a competitive destination, but also focus on propagating intra-African travel especially within the emerging and growing tourism markets of Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
Meanwhile, Pearl Kakooza, the president of Uganda Tourism Association said the African carriers need to work together to coordinate flight schedules to offer better travel experiences to clients.
“The amount of time lost between flights in the African region is discomforting”, she said. “For intra-African connectivity to work, there has to be political will to encourage travel by easing the way travelers get around, revise visa policies, train staff and create alternative routes from the airport.”
The revived Uganda Airlines started its operations in August last year and currently flies to eight regional destination including Nairobi, Mombasa, Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar, Mogadishu, Bujumbura and Juba and is aiming to launch flights to other African cities during 2020, including flights to Johannesburg.
The airline also plans to introduce intercontinental operations in the first quarter of 2021 with flights to Europe, Asia and the Middle East to destinations such as London, Dubai, and Guangzhou following the arrival of two new Airbus A330- 800neo.