The Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) Chief Executive Officer, Lilly Ajarova believes the Internationale Tourismus-Börse-Berlin (ITB-Berlin) Tourism Trade fair is a great opportunity for local tour operators to attract new business to Uganda given the high profile as well as large number of participants that grace the event every year.
The ITB-Berlin, the world’s largest tourism trade fair – and one of the world’s four major international tourism gatherings – is scheduled for Wednesday March 6 – Friday, March 8, 2019 at the Messe in Berlin.
This trade fair is where companies and organisations meet, as well as top decision- makers, experts, buyers and young professionals from every touristic area: Hotels, tourism organizations, tour operators, travel agencies, transport companies, booking portals, systems providers and all others.
According to Ajarova, who started work in earnest at UTB this week, ITB is without a doubt of invaluable importance to Uganda given that Germany is one of our top source markets.
“We believe that at this trade fair, our tour operators will be able to get bookings as well as get connections to new markets. Exhibitor satisfaction at ITB over the years has stood at over 90 per cent, which is a sign of effective delivery on business,” Ajarova said before jetting out of the country with 30-man delegation, led by junior tourism minister Godfrey Kiwanda Ssubi to Berlin, German.
The delegation comprises tour operators, UTB and Uganda Wildlife Authority officials.
While in German, the team, to be joined by 15 hotel owners from the Uganda Hotel Owners Association and over 10 independent trade visitors, will be tasked with growing visitor numbers to the country through an exhibition, according to a statement signed by Sandra Natukunda, the Senior Public Relations Officer, UTB.
Uganda’s stand will yet again be a star attraction given its impressive showing at the two previous editions. The country was voted 5th best exhibitor out of over 800 participants in the African category at the annual showcase in the 2017 and 2018 trade fairs.
This is a position Ajarova hopes the country will better this year given the preparations tour operators and the marketing board have undertaken.
According to ITB, more than 109,000 trade visitors and potential travelers seeking business opportunities as well as inspiration for their next trip visited last year’s trade fair. That number is expected to increase this year.
Tourism is currently Uganda’s leading foreign exchange earner, bringing in in excess of US$ 1.45 billion (which is 23.5 per cent of the total trade fairs) annually.