Uganda will exhibit fresh tourism products at the world travel market (WTM) expo taking place in London, UK.
This was revealed at a press conference where private and public sector representatives including Uganda tourism board, the Ministry of wildlife and antiquities, Uganda Wildlife Authority, the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and wildlife Trust , civil aviation authority, Sheraton Hotel and twenty tour operators met on Monday to discuss how best to represent the country at the leading global event for the travel industry.
Wildlife and antiquities minister Maria Mutagamba, speaking at the conference at Sheraton Hotel’s lake room about the presentation of Uganda at the WTM that is taking place in Excel Docklands in London, reminded the different exhibitors that they were going as marketers not tourists, and they should be keen to find out what their potential clients’ interests are regarding Uganda. She urged them to uphold good discipline as well as understand and embrace on the element of cooperation and competition.
Though a lot is known about Uganda’s tourism, this is only the tip of the iceberg. “The opportunities to innovate, create, package and present fresh and new tourism opportunities and destinations for Uganda are enormous,” Chris Pollard, the General Manager Sheraton Kampala, said.
Pollard said: “As we transition into another generation of 50 years after independence, the challenge is for Uganda to look beyond the obvious opportunities if we are to build tourism in the country beyond what it is today.”
“Since its initiation over 30 years ago, Uganda has participated in the WTM for over 16 years, but we must agree that this is not an ordinary year. It is our jubilee year and we must present fresh perspectives and projections for Uganda’s tourism to the rest of the world,” Pollard added.
He said there is still untapped business in weekend tourism. “Therefore I see the WTM as an opportunity for us to not only boast for what we are known for but most importantly to give the world fresh and new reasons to rate Uganda as a major destination. The opportunities are enormous, I have no doubt that the resources are available to further expand and exploit out tourism potential for the next generation.”
He said the Government needs to set the agenda to change mindsets towards what we have and the importance of preserving it. “Uganda, we are gifted, lets embrace this gift, and not under price it,” he said.
Bugama Cuthbert Balinda, the Executive Director of Uganda Tourism Board, said at the three-day event, Uganda will showcase The Pearl of Africa with her numerous attractions and also celebrate the 50 years Golden Jubilee and the numerous accolades received in 2012.
Uganda will showcase the gorilla as the major draw card, over 1040 bird species, hiking the diverse mountains-the snow capped Mount Rwenzonri, Alpine Afromontane zones to the Albertine Rift Valley- and White water rafting among others.