By Solomon Oleny
AN advance team of the Africa Travel Association, a leading global trade association promoting travel and tourism to Africa is in Uganda to finalize preparations for its 39th Congress.
It is slated to be hosted from the 11th-16th November by its Ugandan Chapter with the First Lady Janet Museveni as its patron.
Led by its Executive Director Edward Berman, the team are touring a couple of tourism attractions and tourism related facilities such as hotels with the intent of mapping them for an international media team of 22 journalists especially the travel press who will be arriving weeks ahead of the event.
Emma Nahayo the Public Relations Officer of Ministry of Tourism explains that upon arrival, the press team will pursue familiarization trips around Uganda’s top tourism attractions with the intent of popularizing them as prime tourism destinations to the world, especially it’s over 5 million online followers.
Edward (left) leads his team on a hike through Mabira Forest. Photo by Solomon Oleny
The team also visited the Source of the Nile. Photo by Solomon Oleny
“That way, this will directly drive tourist traffic into the country. In the event that 500,000 of these one million followers come to Uganda, Uganda will be $650M richer for every day they will spend in the country because an average tourist in Uganda spends $1300 a day on expenses like accommodation, transport, food among others.”
According to Bergman, beyond marketing Uganda through the International press, ATA will fly in a team of over 400 tourism business associates and expatriates for its conference slated to be hosted in Munyonyo.
This will provide its vast Ugandan members inclusive of travel agents, hoteliers and safari companies a grand opportunity to build networks and expand their business affiliations beyond limits.
“In turn, this will help them in making breakthroughs, something which has not been possible in the past as many of them could not afford to travel for international tourism exhibitions and trade fairs as it’s expensive” Bergman explained.
Speaking to New Vision, Susan Muhwezi the president of the association’s Ugandan Chapter confirmed that ATA has already embarked on an aggressive online campaign and road shows around the world purposed towards popularizing the event.