Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo 2020 was hosted in Kampala Uganda where Tourism players from across Africa gathered to discuss the industry’s future prospects.
This was the 5th Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE), it was under the theme ‘promote intra-Africa tourism’ organized by the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB).
The event attracted around 57 international hosted buyers, 140 domestic and regional tourism operators as well as international and domestic media.
The Expo was officially opened by Moses Ali, the first deputy prime minister and deputy leader of Government Business in Parliament, on behalf of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
Uganda’s President said POATE 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 has significantly invested in creating “peace and stability, good road networks, enough electricity supply, better telecommunications networks and internet.” he added that these investments would enable the country’s tourism sector to be competitive.
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The chief executive officer of Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), Lilly Ajarova, said Uganda has abundant tourism opportunities characterised by the rich tourism attraction portfolio with the best value for money both for investors and tourists which can bring 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.
She also said that tourists have a chance to see more for less because Uganda has the highest concentration of attractions over a smaller geographical area.
“Africa has a big market of 1.2 billion people which we must exploit to our advantage by increasing intra-trade and intra-travel among us,” she said.
Ajarova further explained that it is now easier to get into Uganda by air from virtually anywhere around the world with data from Civil Aviation Authority showing that in the FY2018/19 Uganda recorded 32,735 flights.
“The theme mirrors our strategy to rebalance and segment our tourism portfolio into four key segments – existing overseas markets; emerging overseas markets; regional/African market and the domestic Ugandan market,” she said.