Ugandan Tourism promotes destination, tourism offerings

The Ugandan Tourism Board has taken advantage of the Magical Kenya Travel Expo to invite tourism trade contributors to “A journey through the Pearl of Africa: Uganda”.
The destination training breakfast meeting was organised on the 16th of October 2015 by the Ugandan Tourism Board to promote their destination and showcase the wide variety of touristic offerings.
During his presentation, head of marketing Uganda Tourism Board, Edwin Muzahura highlighted the multitude of touristic offerings ranging from wildlife safaris, trekking volcanoes, water rafting and stunning beaches making Uganda, as Winston Churchill dubbed it, the “Pearl of Africa”.
Uganda has stepped out of the shadow of a dark past and is no longer a country to be feared; on the contrary, today it is considered one of Africa’s safest destinations. Uganda was ranked among top 33 places in the world to visit by The New York Times Travel.
The tourism sector is one of the fastest growing sectors in Uganda with an annual growth rate of 21 percent.
The sector contributes to 9.9 percent of the country’s GDP, second largest in the East African region after Tanzania. With its scenic landscapes and mountains, Uganda offers the best of all African attractions in one destination. The country has four of East Africa’s great lakes namely Lake Victoria, Lake Kyoga, Lake Albert and Lake Edward, the Murchison falls are also located in Uganda and the river Nile crosses the country.
Maritime attractions offering ranges from bungee jumping, white water rafting to sport fishing and canoeing or simply relaxing on the beach.
Uganda has 10 national parks all with their unique features and offering such a diversity of wild game that you are guaranteed to not only see the Big Five (lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo and rhinoceros) but the Big Seven (adding gorillas and chimpanzees) and many more. Uganda is home to the largest mountain gorilla population in the world and vast primate’s species such as chimpanzees and baboons. More than 1,050 bird species can be found in Uganda, more than 50 percent of Africa’s bird population.
Because of its lack of recognition, compared to some other African destinations, Uganda has the advantage of offering its tourists an abundance of activities without the crowds that usually come with it, giving visitors an exceptional and unique experience.
The country has a rich cultural diversity with 65 indigenous communities and tribes with distinct cultural heritage, history and lifestyle (language, food, dance, dressing and beliefs and customs). Uganda also boast some of the best accommodation facilities in Africa, ranging from luxurious 5 star hotels to lavish lodges in national parks to beautiful budget accommodations facilities.
The MICE and Business Sector has also been growing steadily since 2007. During the meeting it was also explained why the country was such a great place to invest in. First, because of its stability with an average economical growth at 5.9 percent since 2008 and political stability for the past 27years, a fully liberalised economy where all sector are liberalised for investment and marketing, free inflow and outflow of capital and 100 percent foreign ownership of investment is permitted. Secondly, Uganda’s market access and strong natural resource base makes it a perfect place for investment, supported by the government commitment to private sector and the quality human resource available.
East Africa Tourism Platform (EATP) is the private sector body for the tourism in East Africa established to foster private sector interest and participation in the East African Community (EAC) integration process. EATP works closely with EAC State Ministries, the EAC Secretariat, East African Business Council and tourism private sector organisations in all the member states. Vision: “A vibrant and diverse single tourism destination providing exceptional experiences.” Mission: “To promote intra and inter-regional tourism through advocacy, marketing, skills development, research and information sharing.” One of EATP’s projects towards achieving its objectives is organizing Destination Trainings where each member state gets the opportunity to train others about their respective country’s tourism offerings. They expose the private sector to what other EAC countries can do to complement each other and show them the great possibilities for cross-borders packages. These trainings have the aim of celebrating the region’s diversity, raising awareness of the individual countries touristic offerings and raising interest in the East African Destination. It offers a platform to engage with regional and international tourism stakeholders and promote EAC as a growing tourism market and a destination with multiple products and service offerings.

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