Pearl Hoareau Kakooza, the chairperson Uganda Association of Travel Agents in an interview at the 23rd Annual General Meeting on 26th April 2022. Photos by Nicholas Oneal
Jeff Andrew Lule
Journalist @New Vision

The Government has been urged to invest more in marketing Uganda in other countries to easily attract more tourists to the country.

The chairperson of The Uganda Association of Travel Agents (TUGATA), Pearl Hoareau Kakooza, said following a two-year disruption of the tourism by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need to invest in tourism marketing more than before.

Stella Obinwa (left) the Regional Director International Operations Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism chats with Pearl Hoareau Kakooza , the chairperson Uganda Association of Travel Agents at the 23rd Annual General Meeting on 26th April 2022.

Stella Obinwa (left) the Regional Director International Operations Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism chats with Pearl Hoareau Kakooza , the chairperson Uganda Association of Travel Agents at the 23rd Annual General Meeting on 26th April 2022.

She said they want to see more traffic of tourists visiting Uganda like many Ugandans travelling to other countries like Dubai.

“We must engage our commercial attachés to make them more cautious and give them enough information so that they can bring in more visitors from Dubai to visit Uganda,” she added.

Kakooza said this during an interview along the sidelines of the TUGATA Annual General Meeting, at Sheraton Hotel Kampala.

She reattributed the low number of tourists coming into the country to poor marketing.

“We tend not to market our country aggressively. Yes, we did a roadshow at the Dubai 2020 Expo, but we need to resound the message again and gain. Now with the rebranding of Uganda ‘Explore Uganda, The Pearl of Africa’, I think we are well-positioned to come out with a new brand,” she added.

She noted that the government needs to deploy commercial attachés at various Uganda Embassies and empower them to sell Uganda to attract more visitors.

“Even our travel agents just need to be trained and given our local content because Uganda has a lot to offer,” Kakooza said.

Early this year, President Yoweri Museveni launched a new tourism destination brand; “Explore Uganda, The Pearl of Africa” to promote tourism and increase the number of visitors in the country.

It also aims at boosting the sector’s contribution to the GDP and the protection and conservation of natural habitats, flora, and fauna.

The rebranding is an essential component of UTB's Strategic Plan (FY 2020/21 - 2024/25) that seeks to sustainably promote Uganda as a competitive tourism destination for inclusive development, to increase the volume and value of tourism in Uganda.

Other objectives of the projects include increasing tourist arrivals, increasing investment and job creation in the tourism sector, increasing the competitiveness of the tourism destination, improving collection and access to tourism information, improve internal efficiency and effectiveness. 

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