KAMPALA – The Uganda Tourism Board – UTB has trained the private sector in tourism on better meetings, incentives, conferences and events – MICE.
CEO of UTB, Ms. Lilly Ajarova during the training at the Imperial Royale Hotel said that MICE is one category of tourism that brings in a different segment of the market.
“So, MICE is one thing that we’re using to position Uganda as a destination that provides the services. we have been promoting Uganda as a MICE destination, what happens in doing this, we bid for international conferences, meetings, events, exhibitions and what is happening now is that after the COVID pandemic, we are engaging with the private sector to refresh their knowledge and skills, and also for the facility owners to be more prepared as Uganda Tourism Board hosts what we call the Uganda Convention Bureau, Uganda Convention Bureau is a department within Uganda tourism board that is responsible for providing the support to the private sector on the MICE industry.”
“So today, we are here training the private sector and preparing the different stakeholders to position ourselves, and get ready to start promoting preparing beads and also hosting these international meetings, events,” added.
Ms Ajarova revealed that Uganda basically started preparing herself better for MICE industry in 2017, where they had training and a business plan.
“That helped us that in 2018, we were ranked the 10 best destinations in Africa,” she said.
For 2019, Ajarova says they prepared more beads and hosted more meetings and conferences thus making it to the sixth-best position.
She, however, says that in 2020 and 2021 because of the COVID pandemic, nothing happened.
“Right now, we are positioning ourselves to even get to the top of the ranking and that’s why we engaging with the private sector, preparing them, sharpening their skills or knowledge as Uganda Tourism Board, specifically also marketing Uganda as a MICE-destination.”
Mr. Ricky Taylor, CEO of the Business Tourism Company and International Tourism Consultancy said they are delighted to be in Uganda with the single-minded purpose of establishing a new economic system “the Uganda Convention Bureau”.
He says that the institute, which will be housed under the UTB will attract a $100 million to these shows by the year 2025.
To do that, he says, the institution is in the throes of concretizing. “It’s going to deliver amazing opportunities from an investor point of view from a job creation point of view and of course, the government to the GDP.”
Tylor says that MICE is an arena Uganda has just started to explore and “is the really exciting roadmap for the destination for the country.”