"Ugandans too are warm and kind people. The trip is so far a delight and I cannot wait to encourage Malaysians to visit."
KAMPALA - Only days after hosting a large group of over 200 tourists from Israel, Uganda has once again welcomed more visitors - this time from southeast Asia.
As many as 10 Malaysian tour operators flew in earlier this week for a tour experience of Uganda, and they will be in the country until Monday next week.
The group has so far visited the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre in Entebbe, Chimpanzee Sanctuary on Ngamba Island, Igongo Cultural Centre in Mbarara and Queen Elizabeth National Park in Kasese.
Next up, they were headed for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Kigezi for the Mountain Gorilla encounter and experience.
Athman Aziz, one of the visitors, spoke of Uganda's hospitality and beauty.
"Uganda is such a beautiful country and it has so much to be seen. I was mostly amazed by the beautiful sceneries, the chimpanzee sanctuary on Ngamba Island, the amazing stories of the diverse cultures of the people of Uganda and the abundance of food," he said.
"Ugandans, too, are warm and kind people. The trip is so far a delight and I cannot wait to encourage Malaysians to visit."
More specifically, the visiting group is being hosted by the Uganda Tourism Board in collaboration with the Uganda High Commission in Malaysia. A journalist, a representative from the Ethiopian Airlines and an official from the Uganda High Commission in Malaysia are part of the team.
Outgoing UTB chief executive Stephen Asiimwe said this trip speaks into the country's efforts to continuously market Uganda as Africa's premier destination.
"As the Uganda Tourism Board expands marketing efforts to Asia, this trip comes as a great opportunity to showcase Uganda to Malaysian travel agents - with the aim to increase travel trade between the two countries and ultimately the number of visitors coming to Uganda from Malaysia and the Asian continent at large," he said.
"We also anticipate that this trip will result into more visitors from Malaysia.
"Last year, Malaysia was the host country for the Miss Tourism World pageant; which saw Uganda's Miss Tourism Margaret Kankwanzi participate and make it to the top 10 finalists. In collaboration with Uganda's high commission in Malaysia, Kankwanzi presented Uganda's tourism to a group of tour operators; which activity led to this trip," Asiimwe said.
Asia is one of Uganda's source markets, registering more business visits compared to leisure.
According to the Tourism Performance Report (2017), Uganda received 71,169 tourist arrivals from Asian countries. The numbers are poised to grow as UTB deepens aggressive marketing campaigns in various Asian countries such as Malaysia, China and Japan.