KAMPALA – Uganda Tourism Board has unveiled the 8th edition of the Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE), under the theme “Responsible Tourism.”
The Expo slated for May 23 to 25, May, 2024 will be held at Speke Resort Munyonyo.
The Expo, is Uganda‘s signature event that brings together both consumer and travel trade to create business networking opportunities, education sessions, and inclusion of Uganda in the African specialist tour operators’ itineraries.
The event was officially launched by State Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities Hon. Martin Mugarra Bahinduka.
Present were various government agencies and departments, the private sector players in the tourism sector, cultural institutions, among others.
Speaking at the launch Hon. Mugarra revealed that the event presents a unique opportunity for tourism business operators to meet new clients, network, and discuss business deals with global tourism and travel trade partners.
“Uganda’s tourism sector is recognized as a high-growth export sector capable of making a substantial contribution to the socio-economic development of the country if fully developed,” he said.
He noted that the sector is posed to generate the much needed foreign exchange through tax and non-tax revenues. “Tourism plays a significant role in the improvement of the livelihoods of communities where the tourism attractions are located through employment, entrepreneurship, and provision of social amenities such as electricity, telecommunications, and improved infrastructure among others,” he said.
In her remarks, CEO UTB, Lilly Ajarova noted that the expo is organized by Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) to bring together all tourism stakeholders and other service providers along the tourism value chain to raise the profile of Uganda as a preferred destination both domestically, regionally and
She noted that the exposition gives participants practical knowledge of Uganda’s tourism offerings.
“POATE 2023 was a success with the 8th edition in 2024 posed to be bigger and better. The expo continues to provide huge business opportunities for local suppliers in the areas of events management, stand construction, production of promotional materials, tour guiding services, equipment hire, transportation, and accommodation among others,” she said.
The event, event is structured to include Business to Business and Business to Consumer engagements, seminars to share knowledge and discuss the latest tourism trends by national and international experts, exhibitions to showcase the various tourism and related services and products and have prearranged meeting appointments through a matchmaking portal.
There will additionally be carefully selected and vetted suppliers from the source markets hosted to explore the country’s attractions to give them firsthand experience that will help them market Uganda.
The National Development Programme (NDP III) recognizes tourism as one of the priority sectors. In order to optimize the sector’s contribution to the socio-economic development, the UTB has put in place strategic interventions whose objective is to ensure substantial growth in tourism arrivals from the main core and emerging source markets.