One of Uganda-based Tour Company recently won free Wild Card space to exhibit in Frankfurt, Germany at the recently concluded IMEX 2010 exhibition.
IMEX in Frankfurt is the essential worldwide exhibition for meetings and incentive travel and their Wild Card programmer allowing undiscovered destinations to be put on the global business map. IMEX brings together international buyers and sellers and over 3,500 exhibitors from more than 150 countries attended IMEX 2010.
Great Lakes Safaris was the only African company that won free space; alongside two others, Morzine, France and Hof Conference and Cultural Center, Iceland.
Information obtained from the IMEX website indicates that to qualify for a winning place, Wild Card entrants have to justify their potential as a brand new meeting and incentive travel destination or a new convention and conference centre from a new and emerging destination.
On what significance the exhibition is likely to have for Uganda, the managing director Great Lakes Safaris Amos Wekesa told East African Business Week in an interview last week that the exhibition cast Uganda in the spotlight and is likely to open up opportunities for doing business. “There were many international companies at the exhibition that will sell Uganda as an ultimate destination,” said Wekesa. “Charters that last came to Uganda in the 1970s will soon start bringing tourists as a result,” he said.
As a company, Wekesa said winning the Wild Card free space means growth provides a challenge and opened eyes about the opportunities available. “They looked at our organization, our facilities, the people we deal with and our website and found that we qualified to be there. The contacts of the companies we met are going to help us market Uganda as a destination,” said Wekesa.
Some other benefits to each winning destination of the Wild Card programmer include free exhibition space within the Wild Card Pavilion, access to discounted air fares, complimentary hotel room for three nights in Frankfurt, plus a free ticket to the IMEX Gala Dinner.
The winners also benefit from marketing support to assist them in presenting their destination to the audience of international buyers at the show