UTB unveils new identity, seeks to realign destination Uganda 

Predicent Museveni signs on the board to launch the new brand identity in Kololo, Kampala at the weekend. Photo | Courtesy 

What you need to know:

  • The new identity - Explore Uganda, the Pearl of Africa – which was launched by President Museveni at the weekend, is part of UTB’s 2021/25 strategic plan that seeks to realign tourism marketing as well as sustainably increase the volume and value of tourism in Uganda.

Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has launched a new brand identity that seeks to sustainably promote Uganda as a competitive tourism destination for inclusive development. 

The new identity - Explore Uganda, the Pearl of Africa – which was launched by President Museveni at the weekend, is part of UTB’s 2021/25 strategic plan that seeks to realign tourism marketing as well as sustainably increase the volume and value of tourism in Uganda.

Speaking at the launch of the  brand identity in Kampala at the weekend, Ms Lilly Ajarova, the UTB chief executive officer, said that whereas there have been a number of campaigns by various stakeholders, most of which were built around “Visit Uganda” these have not appropriately captured the uniqueness of Uganda.

Therefore, she said, it was important that all stakeholders are aligned on what makes Uganda the Pearl of Africa and how it can be unpacked to travel market segments across the world”.

“Yes, everyone knew that Uganda is and has always been the Pearl of Africa, but there was a lack of clarity and consistency on, if Uganda is the Pearl of Africa - what pearls it has to offer for each of the various travel segments and preferences. To win the marketplace - to achieve our number one objective of sustainably promoting Uganda as a competitive tourism destination for inclusive development - it was, therefore, important that all stakeholders are aligned on what makes us the Pearl of Africa,” Ms Ajarova said.

Under the new brand identity, UTB will seek to increase tourism earnings, uplift investment and job creation, grow arrivals, increase competitiveness of tourism destinations, collection and access to tourism information as well as improve internal efficiency and effectiveness.

The new plan is expected to earn Uganda $1.86b, contribute Shs13.9 trillion to gross domestic product, increase inbound visitor arrivals from 473,000 in 2020 to 1.67 million visitors and grow tourism employment of at least 667,600 jobs by 2025

It will also seek to increase arrivals from key source markets such as German, North America, UK, China, Japan and UAE from 37,153 in 2020 to 225,300, increase in visitor length of stay from 8.3 nights to 11 nights as well as encourage in-domestic visitations to key tourism sites

Speaking at the same event, President Museveni said that whereas he had been sceptical about the new plans to market destination Uganda when they were first presented to him, he was now convinced that UTB was on the right track.

“Therefore, I am very happy with the new group headed by our daughter [Ms] Ajarova. You can see they are putting a lot of imagination in what they are doing. When they came to see me, I told them, what new thing are you coming to tell me? I have heard all these stories. They said no, we have come to tell you the difference between visiting and exploring. They said, with “visiting, you come and go, but with exploring, you come, you stay, you go and look. From what I can see, the Ajarova group is really determined to … talk about Uganda,” he said.

Under the new plan, UTB will work with stakeholders to restart and rebuild tourism to return to pre-Covid-19 earnings of $1.45b, recover tourism jobs, increase inbound revenues per visitor from $1,036 to $1,500, increase the proportion of leisure to total tourists from 20.1 percent to 30 percent as well as increase the number of direct flight routes to Europe and Asia from six to 30.

Tourism Minister Tom Butime, said the launch of the new identity “is part of the response to the recovery after this dreadful pandemic”.

“We are getting back into the market with a unified message and a clear promise and call to action. The Destination Brand and marketing activities that shall follow it are not in isolation. They complement other existing initiatives by government to improve our product offering, improve the consumer experience and therefore widen opportunities for the private sector as well as quicken the pace of recovery,” he said.

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