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UTB unveils COVID-19 digital led domestic tourism recovery campaign

UTB CEO, Lilly Ajarova

Kampala, Uganda | Julius Businge | Uganda Tourism Board has today (Sept.11) launched a domestic tourism campaign dubbed ‘Take on the Pearl’ as a mechanism to revamp sector growth that has been battered by COVID-19 lockdown.

“The pandemic has created an opportunity for us to look inwards and therefore travel our country. It is a delight to launch this domestic tourism campaign today as part of the efforts by the board to not only encourage domestic travel but also close the seasonality gap that has been created,” Ajarova said.

She said the campaign also aims to both create awareness and also educate Ugandans on the various tourist spots around the country with emphasis on what, when, how, who and where to travel.

The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Doreen Katusiime noted that the campaign will give Ugandans an opportunity to know their country in addition to revamping the sector that contributes tangibly to growth of the economy.

The President of the Uganda Tourism Association, Pearl Horreau Kakooza said their fully trained Safari guides are available to show hidden gems of Uganda.

The hotels are now offering discounted accommodation; the tour operators are keen to advise Ugandans on where to visit as we start on the journey to “Take on The Pearl”, she said.

Ajarova said that they have already dispatched a team on the ground to study and clear tourist facilities to host visitors in line with the government of Uganda Standard Operating Procedures for COVID-19.

She said they will give stickers and stamps as identifications for those facilities meeting the SOPs

Selecting winners

In order to choose the winners, UTB handlers will post the contest photo on Visit Uganda social media pages every Friday and then get people to respond with the name of the place and the reasons why they want to go to that place, for a chance to win the trip. People will have to get their friends and family to come and like their comments. The correct comment with highest likes by Tuesday of the following week will be selected the week’s winner. The campaign will have two winners per week for eight weeks.

According to a UNWTO panel experts from around the world, domestic tourism will recover faster than international demand and will be a key driver for tourism recovery across destinations.

This campaign is important for Uganda to popularize domestic tourism which most Ugandans have not paid keen attention to.

Data from UTB indicates that the entire tourism sector contributed 7.7% to the GDP in FY2018/2019 and has been among Uganda’s top three forex earner for the last 5 years.

The sector also contributes a total of over 670,000 jobs to the economy, in addition to collectively protecting and conserving the country’s rich and natural resources.

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