Uganda Hosts Tour Operators in a Bid to Woo Rwandan Market

Queen Elizabeth National Park in South west Uganda is home to
elephants, buffaloes and hippos among other incredible features

Uganda is hosting a group of tour operators from Rwanda in a new effort to market its tourism and attract potential visitors from the South Western neighboring country.

According to the Executive Director Uganda Tourism Board, more about Stephen Asiimwe, price the 5 day excursion tour in Western and South Western Uganda will take these tour operators around Bwindi Impenetrable, page Queen Elizabeth, Lake Mburo and Kibale national parks as well as Lake Bunyonyi, the hot springs and crater lakes.

“We want them to get a first-hand experience of what Uganda has to offer but on a purely business perspective. This will then enable them to sell Uganda to people in Rwanda who haven’t stepped out to have an experience beyond what they are used to. In the process, we are earning from the services the tourists will spend on and the operators who bring them are also getting business,” Asiimwe told Chimpreports in an interview on Thursday.

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He affirmed that Uganda has a variety of products to offer as a tourism destination as compared to its regional counterparts such as Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania. Among these include; weather, safari, gorillas, night life, landscape, birds and also a rich religious history.

“A visitor to Uganda has a lot more to experience. Within just 18 hours from the moment they land at the airport, they will have seen the people, food, wildlife, different landscapes which makes it a unique destination. People in Rwanda should be assured that this is an experience worth paying for.”

Much as Asiimwe admits that for a long time Rwanda has invested significantly in tourism compared to Uganda, he adds that government is beginning to appreciate the value of the tourism sector by injecting more money into marketing.

Recently, 3 international PR firms were contracted to market Uganda as a destination in North America, UK and German speaking countries which are Uganda’s major tourism markets.

He is optimistic that this increased funding in marketing will go a long way in boosting the economically viable tourism sector which earned Uganda USD 1.4bn in 2015 from USD 1.2bn in 2014. The number of foreign tourist arrivals also increased by 100,000 people in 2015 from 1.2 million arrivals in 2014 a big percentage being holiday makers from US, UK and Germany.

“We could have done better had it not been for some hindrances such as the Ebola outbreak, insecurity in Bundibugyo resulting into travel advisories but also the bad PR from the local media. Other countries face some of these challenges but their media doesn’t blow them out of proportion.

In 2015, Uganda hosted its first Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo which brought together tour agencies, regulators and whole sellers from at least 15 countries to showcase the country’s products and hold
business to business discussions.

Uganda Tourism Board thinks that the combination of these strategies coupled with good infrastructure
should earn more money for the economy.


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