DUBAI EXPO 2020: UGANDA TOURISM BOARD (UTB) SPEARHEADS MULTI-LEVEL PROMOTION IN UAE AND MIDDLE EAST AS A STRATEGIC KEY TOURISM MARKET

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  • Uganda Tourism Board to confirm multi-layered partnerships with airlines, outbound tourism entities, as well as hospitality training and equipment supply organizations
  • On Ugandan Airlines Launches Direct Flights between Uganda and Dubai

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), Government of Uganda’s destination marketing organization has at the Uganda Tourism Trade and Investment Forum 2021, held at the Hyatt Regency Dubai Creek Heights on the 5th of October 2021, announced the launch of a revitalized and strengthened multi-level tourism promotional push to attract residents of the UAE and Gulf Countries to choose Uganda as their preferred destination for luxury adventure, once-in-a-life-time experiences, and reconnection programs with nature, culture and the Ugandan people. The announcement was made in conjunction with Uganda’s participation at Expo 2020, and the launch of inaugural direct flights by Uganda Airlines to Dubai.

Speaking at the Uganda Forum and heading a delegation of 15 tourism officials and key professionals from the Ugandan tourism industry, Ms. Lilly Ajarova, Chief Executive Officer, Uganda Tourism Board commented: “Uganda Tourism Board is extremely excited to launch our revitalised international travel program targeting the UAE and GCC specifically, our presence this week in Dubai, along with the launch of Expo 2020 and the launch of Uganda Airlines flights to Dubai makes this mission extremely poignant and meaningful.”

Uganda has exceptional direct flight connectivity between Uganda and the UAE, with Emirates flying 5 times a week and flydubai daily flights from Dubai, and Air Arabia operating 3 flights a week from Sharjah starting the 10th of October. Uganda Airlines touched down in Dubai for the first time on October 4th, 2021, and now operates scheduled flights 3 times a week. Qatar Airways also operates daily direct flights from Doha.

Using the wide variety of carriers and flight options available, the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), will launch a number of partnerships and marketing initiatives and activations, to ensure exciting, quality-focused tourism offerings are made available to UAE and Gulf Country residences seeking rejuvenation, exhilaration, a reconnection to nature and people and touches of meaningful luxury moments in a covid-safe environment.

The activities kick off with a series of tourism seminars and workshops in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi on October 10th and 11th respectively, for the UAE’s leading outbound travel professionals, and meetings and incentive planners. The Ugandan Pavilion at Expo 2020 will also feature opportunities for all visitors to learn what Uganda has to offer as travel destination, as well as discovery travel packages with value-added offers. Throughout the coming months a plethora of digital marketing, social media campaigns as well as the hosting of UAE media, influencers and key travel agents will also be conducted to spread the word of Uganda as the Pearl of Africa.

Representing the hotel and hospitality industry, Susan Muhwezi, the Vice Chairperson Uganda Tourism Board and Chairperson Uganda Hotel Owners Association said, “The Ugandan tourism industry is committed to reaching out to the UAE and surrounding Gulf countries on many levels. Through consumer and travel trade marketing, exceptional holiday experiences will be created and communicated to entice visitors. Additionally, we are also committed to engage with the UAE’s many hotel suppliers, hospitality and tourism training professionals to ensure that our two tourism industries are well connected in a myriad of levels.”

In addition to a comprehensive roll out of marketing activities from this month into the New Year, our marketing programs in the UAE will be further enhanced as we will also look to make the UAE and the Middle East region the first international market to launch our new branding campaign that will be launched in early 2022. With our representative office located in Dubai, our commitment to this market is strong and long term, concluded Ajarova.

ABOUT UGANDA TOURISM BOARD (UTB):

Created by the Tourism Act (2008), Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) is the official Government of Uganda’s destination marketing organization for Destination Uganda, the Pearl of Africa. UTB exists to sustainably promote Uganda as the most preferred and competitive destination for tourists and tourism investments in Africa. By working with stakeholders in the tourism sector to market Destination Uganda while encouraging investment, education, training and research as well as developing and monitoring standards in the tourism sector, UTB has since its inception, 13 years ago, grown the number of tourist arrivals by 78% from 844,000 in 2008/09 to 1,500,000 in 2018/19. This is slightly above global growth rates of 63% in the same period. As a result, sector foreign exchange earnings have nearly tripled, growing by more than 171%, from US$590 million to US$1.6 billion in the same period. Today the tourism industry directly and indirectly creates 667,600 jobs, 77% of whom are youth aged18-30 years and accounts for 7.7% of GDP.

By 2024/25 and barring for the effects of Covid-19, UTB plans to grow international tourist arrivals from the key source markets i.e., U.S., Europe and China from 210,000 to 500,000 tourists- a core element in increasing Uganda’s annual tourism revenues from US$1.6 billion to US$3.0 billion! This will increase the contribution of tourism to total employment from 6.3% to 10% which is equivalent to 433,000 new jobs or an increase from the current 667,600 jobs to 1,100,000 jobs.  This will increase the total contribution of tourism to GDP from 7.7% to 9%.

 ABOUT UGANDA:

“Known as the “Pearl of Africa,” Uganda is located in East Africa and offers some of the continent’s most diverse wildlife viewing, dramatic landscapes, and immersive cultural experiences and warm people and hospitality. Uganda is home to more than half the world’s population of endangered mountain gorillas and trekking to observe these gentle giants in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the world’s top bucket list travel activities. Safari opportunities abound in savanna, forest, and wetland settings throughout 10 national parks, where visitors can come face to face with “The Big Five + 2 ” – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo, chimpanzee and mountain gorilla– as well as giraffe, zebra, hippopotamus, crocodile, and more than half of all bird species found in Africa. Among Uganda’s extraordinary natural attractions are the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains; expansive Lake Victoria, which forms the source of the Nile River; and Murchison Falls National Park.