KAMPALA —The 7th Edition of the Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE) 2023 has kicked off at the Speke Resort Munyonyo Commonwealth Hotel in Kampala.
The weeklong expo was officially opened by the Minister of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities, Tom Butiime who said that the country can attract more visitors with a number of initiatives put in place to drum up visibility.
Butiime described POATE, as one of the vehicles that is helping to create awareness through whipping visitors into the country.
He is opportunistic that tourism earnings would double economy recovers to pre pandemic levels.
Butiime also cautioned the private sector to improve their game to the acceptable international standards calling for UTB to enforce and ensure compliance with the set standards —saying ‘this will provide the expected experience or even better.’
He said the sector has received the directives by the President in the tourism sector, and says if they are implemented, tourists will be able to land at the different parks and areas in private jets.
UTB CEO, Lilly Ajarova said the Expo in it’s 7th edition brings together industry stakeholders to discuss the potential benefits of tourism, its future, and evaluate the readiness and position of destinations, regions, and the continent as a whole.
“The Expo will shift its focus to sustainable and responsible tourism, which is emerging as the next trend for tourism development in Uganda and world at large.”
She noted that the presence of key stakeholders from the region symbolizes the spirit of supporting each other through Intra- regional trade.
At this year’s event, the 7th edition of POATE, 100 hosted buyers are in attendance, from South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Egypt, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Spain
Mr. Ajarova says they have been very strategic when inviting hosted buyers to the event.
She says, “This select group of travel specialists will explore Uganda – the Pearl of Africa and thereafter include our beautiful destination in their Africa itineraries. That way, Uganda will receive more travellers and associated benefits including increased tourism revenue and employment.”
The Expo will host business-to-business meetings, networking events and familiarisation trips within the country, while the last day will be dedicated to consumers interested in networking with the POATE exhibitors.
Over 300 exhibitors are showcasing their offering at POATE 2023, including regional tourism boards, international tour operators and associations, hoteliers, international media, and airlines.
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