Following a successful Routes Africa, the joint hosts of the 2012 event, the Seychelles Tourism Board and the Seychelles Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), have officially handed over the event to the Civil Aviation Authority of Uganda, and their main airport, Entebbe International, who will be the host destination and main airport of Routes Africa 2013.
The 8th Routes Africa will take place in July 2013 and Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, as it is commonly positioned, has a fast-growing tourism sector with an annual growth rate of 21 percent on average, contributing 24 percent of the total foreign exchange earnings. Domestic tourism has grown by 50 percent over the past 10 years.
The region has 6.8 percent of the world’s butterfly species, 10.2 percent of bird species, 7.8 percent of world mammals, and 53 percent of the mountain gorilla population, the animal that is closest to man. Uganda is also the source of the longest river on the continent and the world – the River Nile, with the most electrifying rafting opportunity on Earth. Uganda is an investment destination especially after the discovery of oil in Uganda. This has greatly boosted passenger volumes through Entebbe International Airport.
By hosting Routes Africa 2013, the CAA intends to create visibility of Entebbe International Airport and Uganda as a whole to airlines and the world at large. Speaking during the handover lunch at Routes Africa 2012 in the Seychelles, David Kakuba Mpango, Deputy Managing Director of The Civil Aviation Authority of Uganda said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been selected as host of Routes Africa in 2013, as there is no better way to push what the country has to offer than for people to come and see it for themselves. We will be opening the doors of Uganda to all Routes delegates and enabling them to enjoy first-hand the hospitality and wonders of the country.”
He went on to say: “We have been attending the Routes Africa and World Routes events for a number of years and were pleased to have been able to agree [to] a new air service with Qatar Airways during the 2010 event in Vancouver in Canada, so we are fully aware [that] the important role these forums take place in the aviation industry.”
David Stroud Executive Vice Present, Routes, went on to say: “After such a successful event here in the Seychelles, we are eagerly awaiting next year’s event in Uganda; it is the first time we have secured and announced a Routes Africa event host at the previous year’s event, and it is down to the drive and commitment of the Ugandan team. We look forward to Routes Africa 2013 in Uganda next year.”