By Watchdog Reporter
KAMPALA–The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities through its Agency the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) is holding the 3rd edition of the Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE)from Friday 17-19 February 2017. The expo will be hosted at the Sheraton Hotel and the Jubilee Gardens (Sheraton Gardens).
The expo has seen over 80 hosted buyers and international travel media come to Uganda to enjoy sample some of the tourism offering. The guests are tour operators and travel media from 20 countries among them Brazil, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, Australia, USA, UK, Italy, Kenya and Holland to mention but a few.
Over the last week, they have travelled to some of Uganda’s top national parks, game, heritage and had cultural experiences in the different regions. Today they travel to Jinja, the adventure capital of Uganda. Here they will take to the waters for whitewater rafting, visit the source of the Nile and bungee jump among many other activities. They will also have opportunity to visit different hospitality facilities in Jinja before returning to Kampala, where there too they will visit commercial accommodation facilities.
“Hosted buyers are the people who help tourists make travel decisions in their country. It is therefore very important to give them an experience of Uganda since they will be promoting it,” Mr. Stephen Asiimwe, UTB CEO has said.
He adds that by footing the bill for hosting the international tour operators, government creates a fair platform for all local business to benefit from the networking and business contacts they probably may never have had.
This year, the Government of Uganda will also be hosting tourism ministers and heads of tourism boards from the East Africa region and beyond. Among those expected are ministers and their tourism agency heads from Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Some of the partners promoting the tourism expo are Kampala City Council Authority, Uganda Wildlife Authority, Chimp Sanctuary on Ngamba Island, Uganda Wildlife and Education Centre, Uganda Tourism Association, Association of Uganda Tour Operators, and other tourism stakeholders.
Uganda Hotels, tour operators, travel agencies, cultural groups, crafts makes and conservation companies are among many exhibitors at the expo. There will also be business to business meetings.