KAMPALA – Ugandan Tourism Board (UTB) CEO Ms Lilly Ajarova has sold the beauty of Uganda and what makes the country worth visiting to the Ethiopian Community and the world over. This was during a webinar organized by the Ethiopian Embassy in Uganda webinar dubbed ‘Discover why Ethiopia is the origin of so much’ on June 23 aimed at exploring tourism opportunities and cooperation between Ethiopia and Uganda.
Ms Ajarova who was speaking in the webinar highlighted the extraordinary Uganda’s Tourism attractions and destinations in wildlife viewing, dramatic landscape and massive cultural experiences that entice tourists to experience and test the ‘Pearl of Africa.’
The CEO revealed some of the tourism endowments and assets of Uganda such as the mesmerizing national parks, wildlife reserves, historic museums and religious sites, safari opportunities to observe the “big five plus two”, the snow-capped Rwenzori mountain, the expansive lake Victoria, Murchison falls, water rafting at the world’s long river-Nile, facilities and services for Honeymooners, the Bahai temple , the second largest Mosque in Africa, and Ugandan Martyr shrines among other attractions.
“UTB identified intra-Africa tourism as a key market opportunity for Uganda. The possible potential tourism partnerships between the two countries in joint marketing and promotion will develop both economies. We need to organize joint itineraries and familiarization trips between the two countries’ tour operators; airlines partnerships in joint marketing initiatives in videos, and inflight magazines; exchange programs in hospitality industry training and skill development in souvenir making,” she said.
Mr. Seleshi Girma the C.E.O of Tourism Ethiopia explained why Ethiopia is ‘The Land of Origins’ and also presented the details of Ethiopia’s Tourism Attractions and destinations comprehensively.
He shared that Ethiopia is the cradle of humankind, origin of Arabica Coffee, and source of the World’s longest river–Nile. He disclosed the immense Ethiopia’s potential tourism attractions and destinations found in five great Ethiopian routes; the historic North and the Simien mountains, the Rift valley and the cultural mosaic of the South, the East (Danakil, Harrar and Bale Mountains),the West (Lush Nature and Coffee route), Addis Ababa and surroundings.
“The visit of the tourist attraction sites such as the Rock-churches of Lalibela, Aksum, The Castle of Gondar, Ras Dashen , Danakil depression, Dallol, Harar Jugol and others will give tourists a culmination of touristic satisfaction as they will experience how art, wisdom and nature colluded together to that effect,” he shared.
Tour Operator Associations’ representatives from both countries used the webinar to brief the audience about the market potentials of their respective member tour operators as well as the possibilities for business partnerships.
Ms. Pearl Kakooza, President of Uganda Tourism association, emphasized the need to make travels and visits within Africa as the continent has huge tourism assets with a population in which the two countries can support each-others tourism products.
She urged the stakeholders of the two countries to harness the shared and complementary tourism products in areas of culture, agro-tourism given the countries are the origins of Arabica Coffee and Robusta coffee, and in faith-based tourism.
H.E. Alemtsehay Meseret the Ethiopian Ambassador to Uganda emphasized that Ethiopia and Uganda have been committed to workingclosely in various areas of cooperation including tourism.
She shared that the two countries have cooperation in the culture and tourism sector given that they share multiple common cultural and tourism assets, philosophical views such as the promotion of Pan-Africanism, and being the source of the White and the Blue Nile respectively.
“The discussion will further enhance the cooperation through experience sharing and networking opportunities and will further explore complementary tourism assets and destinations of the two countries that would be combined in order to create a single regional tour packages.”
The webinar enabled the stakeholders to identify complementary tourism products between the two countries that can be delivered into a single package in the Eastern Africa tourism destination.
A consensus to implement common strategies in tourism, to complement and combine the tourism potentials of the countries and signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Ethiopia tourism and Ugandan Tourism Board was reached.