KAMPALA – Uganda Tourism Board has embarked on a nationwide outdoor campaign dubbed ExperienceUganda to promote domestic tourism.
Ms. Lilly Ajarova, the UTB Chief Executive Officer (CEO) told journalists on Tuesday, October 15, at a media roundtable at Protea Hotel in Kololo that they have packaged Uganda as a MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) destination and they are actively marketing it at international travel markets.
Ms Ajarova said in a bid to expand the tourism sector and do away with briefcase companies UTB has registered 150 tour and travel companies, 2066 accommodation facilities and 358 tour guides and because e-registration has since been introduced the exercise is ongoing.
The countrywide e-registration process of tour guides is free and it is to ensure that all tour guides and operators get uniforms, registration numbers for easy identification and scrutiny in case they engage in misconduct while on duty.
“e- registration is the first, innovative software to capture all information about your guides, accommodation and also for e-licensing without printing,” said Mr. Ssemakula the Quality Assurance Manager.
The board has also partnered with the private sector and sister agencies like Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) and Uganda Tourism Assistant (UTA) to identify and secure exhibition space in international and regional travel exhibitions.
Ajarova said her team is working on ensuring that they reduce the number of people operating without permits so as to greatly boost the tourism Gross Domestic Product contribution from the current 7.7%.
The CEO said Uganda’s tourism potential is steadily growing, “69% tourists are received from the African continent with 29% from Kenya alone,” Ajarova said. Adding, “We have identified other products like the cycad plants also known as the dinosaur’s food. The rare plants were discovered in Kitagwenda”.
This far UTB was able to take part in the Kenya Magical expo, the International fare in Nigeria, the South African expos-World travel market in Cape Town, the Trade show in Canada and all this, has aided in promoting, expanding and increasing awareness, consequently increasing the number of tourists globally.