- In Uganda, Tourism gave forex earnings growth of 22% within the last 5 years; with an average of 4% per year which translated to an increase of $1.31 billion to $1.6 billion
- Uganda tourism sector alone in 2018, Uganda got Shs8.3trillion, a worth covering the country’s 7.7% GDP.
- The tourism sector in Uganda has also given 670,000 jobs to the citizens in 2018, covering 6.7% of the country’s total employment.
The 2020 Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE) opened last February 4 and ran until Thursday, February 6. It was held here at Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kampala, Uganda, and the event was graced by the big names in the tourism industry from Ugandan, as well as both continental and international.
Organized by the Uganda Tourism Board in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism, this was the 5th POATE event to date.
On behalf of Uganda President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Gen. Moses Ali, the First Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Leader of Government Business in Parliament, formally kicked off the tourism Expo. This officially started the suppliers to business and customer activities between major Ugandan and regional tourism stakeholders as well as other travel markets from Africa and international tourism traders.
Lake Victoria served as the venue for the tourism event opening, and it was able to attract 140 domestic and regional tourism industry, more than 50 worldwide buyers, as well as media both from local and abroad.
This year, the tourism expo adopted the theme ‘Promoting Intra-Africa Travel,’ which aims to elevate the awareness of the untapped potential by the developing African travel industry. This is also concerning the ranking made by the 2019 World Economic Forum, Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index, which indicated that Uganda is No.1 in terms of competitive pricing in travel destinations in East Africa. Uganda also ranked number 39th out of 140 worldwide.
President Museveni, through a speech delivered by Gen. Ali, said that the tourism event could boost the market and help in “expanding business opportunities in the tourism sector in Uganda and the entire East African region.”
The President of Uganda also noted that the country emphasized “peace and stability, good road networks, enough electricity supply, better telecommunications networks and internet,” and these investments will further uplift Uganda’s tourism sector’s competitiveness.
Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), Lilly Ajarova, also expressed to the delegates that the tourism opportunities in the country were abundant, rich with tourism attractions. He added that investing in Uganda’s tourism industry is ideal because it’s the pricing is competitive for both the tourists and investors.
“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,”
Lily said in her speech, addressing the over 200 tourism business frontrunners from more than 20 countries, as well as from 4 continents.
Ajarova further added that Uganda has the best value for money due to its unique and ideal geographical features.
During the opening gala, a copy of the book, Experience Uganda, was handed over to Gen. Ali by Andrew M. Mwenda, managing director for The Independent Publications Limited. The book highlighted the country’s diverse tourist attractions and destinations.
Ali then recommended to all the participants to have a copy of the $50 dollar book so they can have more information about Uganda’s unique tourism industry. Independent Publications Limited is one of the many media companies promoting the role of POATE in Uganda’s tourism.