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Uganda showcases top attractions at Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo 2020

Traditional dance at POATE. PHOTO @PlatinumSafariU

✳Forex earnings from tourism have grown by 22% over the last 5 years from $1.31 billion to $1.6 billion an average growth of 4% per year

✳The tourism sector in 2018, contributed Shs8.3trillion worth of GDP- equivalent of 7.7% of Uganda’s GDP

✳ Tourism created 670,000 jobs in 2018 (6.7% of total employment)- 90% of these jobs in hospitality sector which employs 58% females &77% youths (18-30 years)

✳The 2019 World Economic Forum, Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index ranked Uganda No.1 most price competitive destination in East Africa, 39th of 140 worldwide.

Kampala, Uganda | JULIUS BUSINGE | Ugandan, continental and international tourism players are at Speke Resort Munyonyo to participate in the 2020 Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE) that started Tuesday and runs until Thursday.

This is the 5th POATE organized by Uganda Tourism Board in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism.

The Expo was officially opened by Gen. Moses Ali, the First Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Leader of Government Business in Parliament, on behalf of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

The opening kicked off three days of business to business and business to customer engagements amongst key Ugandan and regional tourism players with selected tourism wholesalers from Africa and other overseas tourism markets.

The event, which is taking place on the shores of Lake Victoria, has attracted over 57 international hosted buyers, 140 domestic and regional tourism operators as well as international and domestic media.

The expo, is running under the theme, ‘Promoting Intra-Africa Travel’ in a bid to raise awareness about the untapped potential presented by emerging African travel markets.

UTB head Lilly Ajarova and chief guest Gen Moses Ali at the opening of POATE. PHOTO @TourismBoardUg

In a speech read for him by Ali, President Museveni said the expo would go a long way in “expanding business opportunities in the tourism sector in Uganda and the entire East African region.”

Museveni added that Uganda had significantly invested in creating “peace and stability, good road networks, enough electricity supply, better telecommunications networks and internet” and these investments would enable Uganda’s tourism sector to be competitive.

Lilly Ajarova, the Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) told the delegates that Uganda was full of abundant tourism opportunities characterised by the richest tourism attractions portfolio, best value for money for investors and tourists alike and therefore healthy returns on investment.

“We have the richest and most diverse range of human, natural, cultural, religious and historical attractions complemented by a warm tropical climate, warm people, great accommodations and great food,” she said.

Ajarova, told the over 200 tourism business leaders from over 20 countries and 4 continents, that because Uganda has the “highest concentration of attractions over a smaller geographical area” where “tourists get to see more for less and there is something for everyone”, as a destination, Uganda offers the best value for money.”

The Independent’s Andrew Mwenda at the expo. The Independent has a stall displaying a tourism book ‘Experience Uganda’. PHOTO @TourismBoardUg

At the same opening event, Andrew M. Mwenda, the managing director for The Independent Publications Limited, the publishers of the Weekly Magazine (The Independent) handed over a copy of EXPERIENCE UGANDA a special book showing Uganda’s diverse tourist attractions to Gen. Moses Ali.

Ali urged participants to read the book so as to understand more about Uganda’s tourism sector. The book costs $50. The Independent Publications Limited is one of the many companies showcasing their work at POATE.

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