This year’s event will take place from February 23 to 25 under the theme “Re-discovering the Pearl”
PIC: UTB chief executive officer Stephen Asiimwe
TOURISM | EXPO
KAMPALA - Tourism has emerged the highest foreign exchange earner for the country, contributing about $1.4b to the country’s gross domestic product.
Because of this, the sector has become a priority area to the Government, thus taking several interventions to boost the sector.
One of them is the annual Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo organised by the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) to market the various tourism potentials/products both locally and internationally.
This year’s event will take place from February 23 to 25 under the theme “Re-discovering the Pearl” at Sheraton Gardens in Kampala.
The event is supported by the tourism ministry, Kampala Capital City Authority, Uganda Wildlife Authority and the Uganda Education Wildlife Centre.
According to the UTB chief executive officer, Stephen Asiimwe, this is going to be the fourth edition of the expo and it is going to be open to the public.
The event will feature a mini zoo to showcase some of the big cats, food courts exhibit the various Ugandan cuisine and a cultural village to display various Ugandan cultures and heritage. There will also be a childrens’ entertainment centre.
Asiimwe said board expects 200 exhibitors, including hotels, lodges, tour operators, museums, experiential tourism operators and industry associates.
It is expected to attract over 50,000 trade visitors and five national tourism boards from Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
“We want people to know what is in their country and where. This is also good in promoting local tourism,” Asiimwe said.
He noted that it is so hurting that some Ugandans even travel to the neighbouring countries to see what they already have in their own country.
Asiimwe also urged more Ugandans to invest in the tourism industry. He added that the sector still lacks enough accommodation places in parks and game reserves, yet its growing every day.