Monday, July 15, 2024

Tourism in Uganda get a new look with ‘Explore Uganda’

Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), the government of Uganda’s destination marketing organization launched a new destination brand Explore Uganda, The Pearl of Africa, on the sidelines of Dubai Expo 2020.

The new brand draws upon the country’s reputation as one of the most naturally endowed African destinations, while promising tourists an adventure of a lifetime. With the new campaign, UTB is now looking to encourage visitors to stay longer and explore new corners of the country – a move that reflects what’s to come in a post-pandemic African tourism industry.

Speaking exclusively to, Tom Butime, Uganda the Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities said, “We welcome our Arab friends to visit Uganda, just four hours away from the UAE and enjoy this part of Africa that has so much to offer. From the weather, flora and fauna of over 10,000 species, the grandeur of the Nile, the equator line and snow-capped mountains and wildlife in their natural habitat, there is an experience for everyone in Uganda.”

Some of the unique Ugandan bucket-list experiences include the Big 5 (Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Lion and Leopard) safari experiences, mountain gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, river cruises at the source of the majestic Nile River and a myriad of adventure activities such as white-water rafting, bungy jumping and mountaineering and more.

Beyond this, the Minister also highlighted Uganda’s abundant vegetation, temperate climate, strategic location on the Equator, cultural diversity, community tourism, peace and security and friendly people among others, that will draw visitors from the region.

“The launch of the brand is part of our recovery strategy to bounce back after the Covid pandemic. We are getting back into to the market with a unified message and a promise and call to action to explore Uganda, a part of Africa. Tourism in Uganda was on a strong positive trajectory, leading in foreign exchange, accounting for nearly 7.7 per cent of the GDP and 6.3 per cent  of employment in the country. We are recognized as the most hospitable nation and this is exemplified in the friendliness of people , their lifestyle and sense of hope.”

The Uganda Tourism Board has a strong global reach with offices in most cities and now with Explore Uganda, is keen to boost their share of the GCC market. “We believe that our proximity to the region and our tourism offerings make us a unique, new choice for a holiday destination,’ the Minister further added.

“Through our continuous promotional efforts in the region and participation in Expo 2020 Dubai, we have established strong relationships with the travel agents and operators and continue to work with them to being unique tourism offerings to ensure Uganda is positioned as a top holiday destination for travelers from the UAE and the GCC ” added the Minister.

At the launch of the brand, Lilly Ajarova, Chief Executive Office, Uganda Tourism Board added, “The new brand promise seeks to re-emphasize Uganda’s rare and precious range of tourism attractions that can all be found in one destination and based on pillars of sustainability, clarity, consistency, collaboration and empowerment. To this end we are targeting travelers, rather than tourists, that are ready to explore Uganda based on their own personal interests”.

“Explore, Uganda the Pearl of Africa is an invitation to our tourists- both domestic, regional and international to rediscover the magnificence of the Pearl. We are promising and inviting them to Explore Uganda, The Pearl of Africa, for an adventure of their lifetime ,” she added.

Uganda is well connected to the region with a wide variety of direct flight options by Emirates, flyDubai, Air Arabia to the UAE; Qatar Airways to Doha and Saudia to Saudi Arabia. In addition, Ugandan Airlines offers 4 flights a week from Dubai.

The tourism board is also looking to welcome the expat population during the ongoing Ramadan and upcoming Eid Al Fitr holidays and summer holidays with new partnerships and attractive packages that will offer meaningful holiday experiences to Uganda.

“We also had a very successful Expo 2020, promising new opportunities for trade. We clinched a lot of businesses and expect to see a big boost in trade activities between UAE and Uganda,” added the Minister.

At the beginning of 2019, Africa Tourism had recorded 67million international visitors, the second fastest growing tourist destination in the world. With the new rebrand, UTB and their stakeholders aim to restart, rebuild and deliver tourism by 2024-25 and help Uganda recover from the impact of the pandemic that saw losses up to $1 billion in revenue in 2020, reach pre-pandemic levels of $1.45 billion and grow that further to $1.862 billion. This in turn is expected to drive total employment in tourism, increase inbound tourism revenues, boost the proportion of leisure tourists and increase the number of direct flight routes to the GCC, Europe and Asia.

“From the GCC, we are working towards achieving 20 per cent of our overall visitors. This is my vision for the region” concluded the Minister.

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