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Uganda targets sh3b at Berlin Tourism expo

By Gerald Tenywa

Added 7th March 2018 06:22 PM

“Our participation in the Vakantiebeurs, which was supported by the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Uganda, gave the nine Ugandan companies that participated, business worth over sh3.64billions ($997,734). This figure was established from the monitoring and evaluation forms the tour operators filled out after the expo,” said Stephen Asiimwe, the Chief Executive Officer at UTB.

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UTB Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Asiimwe. Photo/File

“Our participation in the Vakantiebeurs, which was supported by the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Uganda, gave the nine Ugandan companies that participated, business worth over sh3.64billions ($997,734). This figure was established from the monitoring and evaluation forms the tour operators filled out after the expo,” said Stephen Asiimwe, the Chief Executive Officer at UTB.

Thirty tourism and travel firms from Uganda are set to make tourism deals worth Sh3b at the ITB Berlin 2018 in Germany, according to Vincent Mugaba, the Public Relations Officer at the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB).

The companies are exhibiting for one week at the Uganda Stand in Hall 21A/121 starting Wednesday and ending on March 11, 2018 in Berlin, Germany.

“We expect the companies to make more than Sh3b from the exhibition,” said Mugaba, adding that nine companies that attended the expo in Netherlands in January made deals worth Sh3b.   

Earlier in the year, UTB took private tour operators to the FITUR of Spain, Vakantiebeurs in the Netherlands and the International Mediterranean Tourism Market (IMTM) in Israel.

Vakantiebeurs  is the biggest travel expos in the Benelux countries and Middle East and the IMTM is the biggest expo in Israel.

“Our participation in the Vakantiebeurs, which was supported by the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Uganda, gave the nine Ugandan companies that participated, business worth over sh3.64billions ($997,734). This figure was established from the monitoring and evaluation forms the tour operators filled out after the expo,” said Stephen Asiimwe, the Chief Executive Officer at UTB. “ITB is much bigger and we expect much more.” 

Business to business meetings, and networking sessions have been booked by the participating companies. Besides the business meeting, the exhibitors also get to participate in learning sessions and seminars organized by the ITB Berlin organisers. At these seminars, new trends in travel are shared.

As part of the East Africa Community initiative, Uganda is this year holding a joint event for the partner states at the expo. On the sidelines, Uganda’s embassy in Germany will also host EAC officials to discuss tourism in the region. Among the participants will be EAC ambassadors resident in Germany; tourism ministers, and tourism board heads and staff.

The Government of Uganda, through UTB facilitates and supports Ugandan businesses to participate in these international expos by providing exhibition space and stands, organizing businesses meetings, and providing visa support where necessary.

“For the majority of Ugandan companies, participating in some of these major travel exhibitions would be too expensive and prohibitive,” said Asiimwe. “Government intervention ensures that more companies are exposed, and given opportunity to bring back business to Uganda.”

He adds that going by the recent and past expo, the ITB Berlin 2018 is bound to bring in great business for Ugandans. The ITB Berlin expo is one of the four international expos, and one of the most important given that Germany is Uganda’s number three source market for international tourists.

Uganda’s participation at the expo is organized and facilitated by the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), the national tourism marketing agency. This year’s expo comes right on the heels of the biggest ever domestic expo, the Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo that has just ended in Kampala last week.

Airline partner, Turkish Airlines has offered participants 10% discount on fares, and 50kg per person and 8kg hand luggage. The tour firms have to meet their costs regarding air travel and accommodation.

Government agencies

  1. Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities

  2. Uganda Tourism Board (event organiser)

  3. Uganda Wildlife Authority

  4. Civil Aviation Authority

  5. The Chimpanzee Sanctuary 

Private Tourism Operators / Businesses

  1. Able Safaris

  2. Across Africa Holidays

  3. Adventure Natural African Safaris

  4. Afromaxx Tours

  5. Alpha Rent A Car

  6. Around Africa

  7. Bic Tours

  8. Changing Horizons

  9. Churchill Safaris & Travel

  10. Crystal Safaris

  11. East Africa Treks Safaris

  12. Ever Based Tours & Travel

  13. Gorilla & Wildlife Safaris

  14. Insight Safari Holidays 

  15. Jewel Safaris

  16. Kagera Safaris

  17. Lake Kitandara Tours & Travel

  18. Marasa Holdings / Mweya Safari Lodge

  19. Nkuringo Safaris

  20. Pinnacle Safaris

  21. Primate Expeditions Ltd

  22. Speke Uganda Holidays

  23. Sun Africa Expeditions

  24. Uganda Wildlife Scenes

  25. Wild Whispers

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