KAMPALA – As the country moves to show the world what it can offer, the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) is set to showcase Uganda at the ITB Berlin Tourism Trade Fair.
The two-day event starting Wednesday, March 6 to March 8, 2019, at Messe in Berlin is the world’s leading travel trade show for every international expert in the tourism industry.
The 30-member Ugandan team comprising of tour operators, UTB officials, and officials from the Uganda Wildlife Authority that left the country Tuesday, March 5, is led by the State Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Hon. Godfrey Kiwanda. Minister Kiwanda is a high-level tourism enthusiast and promoter the country prides in.
Tourism is currently Uganda’s leading foreign exchange earner, bringing in in excess of $1.45 billion (which is 23.5% of the total trade fairs) annually.
Going to Berlin, Germany to attend the ITB Berlin Tourism Trade fair, is another team of more than 15 hotel proprietors from the Uganda Hotel Owners Association and over 10 independent trade visitors.
UTB Chief Executive Officer, Lilly Ajarova, said the trade fair is a great opportunity for Ugandan tour operators to attract new business given the high profile as well as a large number of participants that grace the event every year.
Ms. Ajarova said: “ITB is without a doubt of invaluable importance to Uganda given that Germany is one of our top source markets. We believe that at this trade fair, our tour operators will be able to get bookings as well as get connections to new markets. Exhibitor satisfaction at ITB over the years has stood at over 90%, which is a sign of effective delivery on business.”
Uganda was voted 5th best exhibitor out of more than 800 participants in the African category at the annual showcase in the 2017 and 2018 trade fairs. This is a position Ms. Ajarova hopes the country will better this year given the preparations tour operators and the marketing board have undertaken.
According to ITB, more than 109,000 trade visitors and potential travelers seeking business opportunities as well as inspiration for their next trip visited last year’s trade fair. That number is expected to increase this year. This trade fair is where companies and organizations meet, as well as top decision makers, experts, buyers and young professionals from every touristic area: Hotels, tourism organizations, tour operators, and travel agencies, transport companies, booking portals, systems providers and all others.