The fifth edition of the annual Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE), kicked off officially on Tuesday, February 4 at Speke Resort in Munyonyo, with a call to Ugandans to market the country.
Hosted by Uganda Tourism Board, this year’s tourism and travel trade exhibition brought together regional and international tour operators, travel agents, destination agencies who have since been charged with showcasing Uganda to the rest of the world.
It also aims at raising Uganda’s profile as a preferred destination in the region and internationally, something one of the hosted buyers from Zimbabwe said is already being done.
“Some of the four pillars of sustainable tourism are accommodation, food, accessibility and activities,” a guest from Zimbabwe said at the conference.
He and other international guests and media had for six days enjoyed Fam Trips to different parts of the country including to Queen Elizabeth, Kidepo, Murchison Falls national parks as well as Sipi Falls in Kapchorwa among others.
“And with the good security that Uganda enjoys, Uganda’s tourism sector is bound to grow in leaps and bounds. You have a product and I also see an opportunity for investment,” he said, adding that he will bring other tourism players from Zimbabwe.
According to Lily Ajarova, the CEO UTB, this year’s theme, ‘Promoting Intra- Africa Travel’, was chosen the continent is one of the fastest growing tourism markets after Asia and the Pacific. “Africa is rising economically and by 2030, there will be 1 billion Africans in middle-class up from 375 million in 2013,” she said.
“We are creating an opportunity for our domestic tourism players to connect with the rest of the world so as to showcase what we have to offer as Uganda and in so doing, help the world to discover Uganda.”
Some of the other lined up activities include Business to Business (B2B) from February 4 – 5, 2020, Business to Customer (B2C) which will be on the Thursday, February 6th and Business and knowledge sharing seminars.
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