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UTB unveils plan to boost tourism receipts

The country hopes to earn US$1.862billion next financial year

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda Tourism Board has launched a six-month promotion campaign to further market destination Uganda to increase sector receipts as the world emerges from COVID-19 restrictions.

UTB Chief Executive Officer, Lilly Ajarova, said on Jan.15 that the promotion dubbed ‘Explore Uganda, the Pearl of Africa’ aims to increase global destination awareness of the new Pearl of Africa brand and the adventure of a lifetime brand promise domestically and in key and emerging source markets around the world.

She said the campaign has two layers – one targeting local population and the second focusing on the foreign markets. The campaign will be placed on key broadcast, print and digital media platforms for a period of at least six months.

A number of on ground activations, familiarisation and immersion experiences will also be carried out to give stakeholders a feel of the brand.

“We do believe, that the campaign will make us stand out in the market place and in the minds of customers,” Ajarova said.

“How well we sustainably convert that into sustainable wins in the hearts and eventually the wallets of tourists, remains a lifetime pursuit and the individual work of each of us here and the millions of Ugandans out there.”

With a recorded 18,783 species of fauna and flora, Uganda, according to Fauna and Flora International (FFI), ranks among the top ten most biodiverse countries globally.

The country possesses 53.9% of the world’s remaining population of mountain gorillas; 50% of Africa’s bird species; 39% of Africa’s mammal richness and several other unique attractions, such as over 5,000 plant species and the world’s largest tropical lake.

“Uganda is no doubt beautiful…beautiful beyond measure,” Ajarova said.

Tom Butime, the minister of tourism, wildlife and antiquities said the tourism sector was on a positive trajectory, accounting for 7.7% of GDP and about 6.3% of all formal employment in the country prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

He revealed that the sector employs two of the biggest segments of the population – 58% women and 77% youth, according to statistics provided by the Uganda Hotel Owners Association (UHOA). In addition, the sector, especially in the hospitality industry, is 95% owned and operated by the private sector, with more than 75% local Ugandans.

Butime said the forthcoming campaign will complement other existing initiatives by the government to improve product offering, improve the consumer experience and therefore widen opportunities for the private sector as well as quicken the pace of recovery.

President Yoweri Museveni who was also the chief guest said he is impressed with the UTB team. He said Ajarova is ‘very active.”

“She climbed the Rwenzori up to Margherita (the Peak of Rwenzori Mountains) …I have never been there,” Museveni said.

“I think, as you heard her say…  (Uganda) is a very nice place, but it needed a group to talk about it…to inform the world. From what I can see, the Ajarova Group is really determined to talk about Uganda.”

Performance projection  

According to the budget framework paper for FY2022/23, Uganda hopes to increase annual tourism revenues from US$1.45billion to US$1.862billion; maintain the contribution of tourism to total employment at 667,600 people.

The country also plans to increase inbound tourism revenues per visitor from US$1,052 to US$1,500 and maintain the average number of international tourist arrivals from the U.S, Europe, Middle East, China and Japan at 225,300 tourists.

The plan is also to increase the proportion of leisure to total tourists from 20.1 percent to 30 percent and increase the number of direct flight routes to Europe and Asia from 6 to 15.


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