CAPE TOWN, South Africa – The newly unveiled #ExploreUganda destination brand was on full display at this year’s World Travel Market Africa event held in Cape town in South Africa, bringing together leading travel industry players from around the world.
This is the second international tourism event where Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) is showcasing its new Destination Brand, Explore Uganda, the Pearl of Africa¸ to a global audience after the Dubai Expo 2020 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
NEW DESTINATION BRAND
The East African nation that received over 1.5 million arrivals in 2019 is repositioning itself with a new destination brand that promises travellers an adventure of a lifetime.
UTB Chief Executive Officer Lilly Ajarova said: “The new brand promise seeks to reinforce Uganda’s rare and precious range of tourism attractions to the world. ‘Explore Uganda, the Pearl of Africa’ is simply an invitation to the world, to rediscover the beauty of the Pearl. We are asking those who visit our country to immerse themselves in its unique experiences and attractions hence our call to ‘Explore Uganda.’
Uganda’s refreshed destination brand identity will increase arrivals in the destination as the global travel industry recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. UTB is also working with all stakeholders to rebuild and restart the sector as the global tourism and travel industry resumes.
The new brand is underpinned by a call to action for travelers to discover the true essence of what Uganda has to offer the world.
Ms Ajarova added: “The Pearl of Africa has uniquely mesmerizing experiences catering to the needs of diverse visitors with its endemic and endangered flora and fauna, pleasant all-year round weather, unique scenery punctuated by snow-capped mountains, beautiful lakes and rivers.
At the brand launch in January, President Yoweri Museveni said; “The new marketing strategy is about re-imagining Ugandan tourism and positioning the country as a competitive international travel destination.”
UNIQUE TOURISM ATTRACTIONS
Uganda boasts of unique natural, cultural and historical attractions in the world. For example, 54% of the Mountain gorillas in the world are found in Uganda. Apart from the Big Five – lion, leopard, giraffe, elephant and giraffe – travellers track and habituate the Big Two; mountain gorillas and chimpanzees.
World over, Ugandans are also recognized as the friendliest people in the world with a rich cultural heritage, with over 50 tribes. The destination offers a captivating tourism experience packed with unforgettable memories for adventure-seekers such as water-rafting, bungy jumping, mountaineering, nature walks and for avid bird-watchers, Uganda is a home for 1,090 bird species, which is 50% of the bird species in Africa.
WTM AFRICA EVENT
The WTM Africa event running from 11th – 13th April 2022 is Africa’s leading Business-to-Business (B2B) exhibition, for both inbound and outbound African travel and tourism markets. Over 6,000 travel industry professionals will attend the expo to gain insights into the continent’s tourism offers to the world tourism market.
Themed along the lines of WTM flagship events like WTM London and the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, WTM Africa provides a high-profile platform for professionals in the African travel industry to network with their global counterparts and to share the latest tourism trends, news and technologies.
WTM Africa also offers opportunities for travel representatives to create quality personal and business contacts with customers, with highlights including Hosted Buyers, Buyers Club Members, media representatives, networking meetings and evening events. The event was held virtually last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Destination Uganda at WTM Africa 2022 is represented by Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), Uganda Airlines and the tourism private sector which will showcase the country’s connectivity, tourism products and services. UTB is also leveraging the event to unveil the country’s new destination brand ‘Explore Uganda, Pearl of Africa’ for the first time to a global travel audience. Apart from raising awareness of Uganda’s tourism offerings, UTB will also seek to build on its relationships with key travel trade partners at the expo.
TOURISM SECTOR IN UGANDA
Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in Uganda. The sector earned the country over USD$1.6 billion in 2018 compared to USD$1.45 in 2017, accounted for 7.7% of the national GDP. However, with the pandemic, the country received 512,945 tourists in 2021. In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ugandan government and tourism industry players are investing heavily in the sector’s recovery. However, travellers must adhere to the global health and safety protocols including Covid-19 vaccinations, wearing masks in public spaces, sanitizing and physical spacing.
“We have put in place measures to ensure the maximum safety and security of our guests and also in conservation of our biodiversity resources to promote sustainable growth of the sector. The industry has also invested in infrastructure and internet connectivity, modern accommodation facilities in our national parks and in the major cities,” said Uganda’s Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Hon. Tom R. Butime.
In September this year, UTB will host the Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE) 2022 with leading global and regional travel agents in attendance.