Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) on Friday officially handed over three international tourism film awards to Tom Butime, the Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities at a colorful ceremony held at the Sheraton Hotel, Kampala.
The Minister was accompanied by Mr Basil Ajer, Director of Tourism, and other senior officials from the Ministry of Tourism.
The awards were handed over by the UTB Board Chairman, Hon. Daudi Migereko, in the presence of UTB Board members, the CEO Lilly Ajarova, and UTB top Management.
The three international tourism film awards were earlier this month received at a prestigious ceremony held at Cape Town City Hall, South Africa.
Uganda was crowned this year’s Grand Prix and two times Gold award winner by the International Tourism Film Festival Africa for her film; Explore Uganda – The Pearl of Africa.
In his remarks, Hon. Butime said,’’ I recognize the efforts by everyone that enabled us to win these accolades. These awards are a recognition of our capacity to exercise our brainpower as a country. Through this, we have demonstrated our creativity to the whole world in the production of the video highlighting Uganda’s tourism attractions.”
“I congratulate the Ministry of Tourism, UTB Board and Management for this achievement. With this, I begin to think that we are living an interesting time given the accolades as these amplify the country’s image in the whole world as a leading tourism destination. For an organisation to take pride in its work, you must have trophies and accolades like the ones Uganda has won.”
In his remarks, UTB Chairman Hon Daudi Migereko pointed out that the awards are a major accomplishment for Uganda, coming a few months after the launch of the refreshed new country Destination Brand.
On January 21, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni endorsed and launched the new country Destination Brand.
Migereko noted that the awards are crucial in positioning Uganda as a major tourism destination in light of the recovery efforts spearheaded by the Ministry of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities.
He also appreciated Ugandans for supporting domestic tourism, particularly in the post- Covid period.
Migereko said the country, in particular the private sector, needs to invest and be ready to handle the anticipated increase in tourist numbers.
UTB CEO Ajarova, in her speech, applauded LOOKOUT Films that shot the video that was acknowledged by the Jury.
She said this portrayed amazing film production talent Uganda has including; Scriptwriters, Directors and Producers.
As a result of this great achievement, the online statistics for the Explore Uganda new destination brand show 526 million impressions on Explore Uganda – The Pearl of Africa brand handles, 18 million views on the Google display banner and 381 clicks, while YouTube video has 1.6 million views with 9 million impressions, and 378,418 engagements.
The film, premiered by UTB, is an invitation to the world to rediscover the beauty of Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, which highlights the reel of all that is rare, precious and beautiful in Africa for an adventure of a lifetime.
The International Tourism Film Festival (ITFF) Africa Awards are part of the world’s leading film festivals and the only one in Africa with other circuits such as; the New York Film Festival (USA), Cannes Film Festival in France, Terres Travel festival in Tortosa, Spain and the Amorgos Tourism Film Festival in Greece.
The awards seek to honour exceptional and innovative video content related to the tourism and travel industry, accessible on all continents and can be seen and used on various platforms.
The film, which is now part of Uganda’s refreshed country destination brand identity, seeks to increase arrivals in the destination as the global travel industry recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.
UTB is working with all stakeholders, particularly the private sector, to rebuild and restart the sector as the global tourism and travel industry resumes.
The new brand is underpinned by a call to action for travelers to discover the true essence of what Uganda has to offer the world.
Tourism is one of the fastest-growing sectors in Uganda, having earned the country over USD$1.6 billion in 2019, and accounting for 7.7% of the national GDP.