KAMPALA – Finally the long awaited Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo opens today with the official launch by the Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Prof Ephraim Kamuntu.
The 10am launch is happening at the Jubilee Park next to the Kampala Sheraton Hotel under the theme Rediscover the Pearl, A Country Gifted by Nature.
The expo has attracted over 200 international and domestic tourism businesses who will have business to business dealings, in addition marketing to the general public that visiting the expo.
Expo activities began over a week ago with 20 hosted buyers (foreign tour operators) touring different national parks, tourism sites and cities in Uganda. The tour ended with a visit to hotels around Kampala. Over the next three days, these operators and other exhibitors will be talking business and signing deals to bring tourists to Uganda.
In a twitter and Instagram post, #SachetHéloué (@SandrasPainting) says, “Now I totally understand why Winston Churchill in 1908 called #Uganda the #PearlOfAfrica”. This was after a safari to the Murchison Falls National Park.
The annual tourism expo, under the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities and run by the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), will showcase some of the best of Uganda’s tourism products and services by domestic businesses.
The expo will have an exhibition zone where visitors can directly interact with the tourism business. In addition there will also be a mini zoo by the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) with the prime attraction of the big cats.
“This expo is very important for our local tourism businesses because it links them up with international partners they may not have had chance to meet,” says UTB chief executive officer, Stephen Asiimwe.
“It is a networking event. For the general public, it is also an opportunity to discover what tourism opportunities and attractions exist in the country,” he says.