Ugandan team in Berlin to woo global tourism marketers

In Summary

Tourism officials are hoping increased interest in the country’s natural attractions will translate into bigger crowds […]

Tourism officials are hoping increased interest in the country’s natural attractions will translate into bigger crowds converging at the Uganda’s stand at 2019 ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel trade show.

Lilly Ajarova, the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) Chief Executive Officer, said on Monday, the expo is a huge opportunity for local tour operators to attract new business given the high profile of ITB Berlin. She said, “ITB is without a doubt of invaluable importance to Uganda given that Germanyis one of our top source markets. We believe that at this expo, 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%, which is a sign of effective delivery on business.”

ITB Berlin takes place between March 6 and 9 in the German capital. Over 30 tour operators, led by the State Minister for Tourism, Godfrey Kiwanda and various UTB officials are representing Uganda. Tourism minister, Prof. Ephriam Kamuntu will make a brief appearance towards the end of the event.

During the four days, countries, cities and regions, tour operators, online booking portals and hotels, and many other service providers from over 180 countries present their products and services. Total tourism receipts hover about $1.4 billion, making the sector Uganda’s highest foreign exchange earner. On a global scale, tourism and travel generates between $7 trillion and $8 trillion a year.

In recent years, Uganda’s stand has won high praise from the ITB organisers and the Ugandan delegation is hoping for more of the same.  Uganda was voted fifth best exhibitor out of over 800 participants in the African category at the 2017 and 2018 editions. Ajarova hopes to better this given the preparations tour operators and UTB have undertaken in the run-up to the event.

The ITB Berlin Tourism Expo is one of the world’s four major international tourism gatherings and one of the most important for Uganda’s tourism sector. Germany, the host,  annually comes third as a source market for tourists to Uganda.

ITB organisers say the event is where top decision-makers, experts, buyers and young professionals from every area of the touristic value-added chain meet to get information about important topics and the latest trends, establish business contacts and close global deals.

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