A team of stakeholders, including tour operators from Kenya, are in Uganda for a five-day familiarization trip to explore the African Pear as both countries move to create synergies in promoting tourism.
The trip will see commitments between the Kenya Tour Operators Association and the Uganda Tour Operators Association for joint travel packages, as well as an MOU between the Kenya Coastal Tourism Association and the Uganda Tourism Association.
The trip comes in the context of a similar trip and the Uganda – Kenya Coastal Tourism Conference, Exhibition in Mombasa last week.
Speaking during a welcoming ceremony for Kenyans, Ugandan Consul General in Mombasa, Amb. Paul Mukumbya said that the main objective is to create synergies between the two countries, especially in tourism.
“We want to create synergies and complementarity between the Ugandan and Kenyan coastal tourism players, but also create more awareness of the two destinations and the tourism products they offer,” Amb Mukumbya said.
He said that during these synergies, the travel packages for the two countries will be interconnected so that both countries benefit from tourism.
“With this familiarization tour, we want to equip tourism stakeholders in Uganda and the Kenyan coastal region with first-hand experience of the major tourist attractions so that they are in a better position to market these attractions and promote and popularize Entebbe. Mombasa route operated by Uganda Airlines”.
Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) Business Development Manager Dorcus Rukundo said Uganda has a lot to offer in terms of tourism.
“You’re going to spend time with the chimpanzees. You’ll see how they sing and how they take care of their babies. When you go to Queen Elizabeth, there are so many birds. In the Kazinga Channel, we have so many birds.” I want to invite you to take the boat cruise and see the bird life that we have in this country. I want to assure you that you are going to enjoy this country. Uganda tourism is based on nature, and you will find that Uganda is greener than where you come from [Kenya]. Uganda has a cooler climate than where you come from.”
He noted that the East African region, he said, is unique in its own way, with an amazing geographical landscape and stressed the need for joint marketing of the two tourist destinations for greater benefit.
“A tourist from the US, Austria or anywhere will find a very beautiful experience in East Africa, and they can go and talk about us as the destination of East Africa. Let’s work together, let’s complement each other.”
Uganda Private Sector Foundation (PSFU) Director of Business and Policy Development Dr Julius Byaruhanga said tourism is among the 12 sectors in PSFU’s portfolio which the latter is boosting to triple its contribution to the growth of Uganda.
“Tourism is one of the sectors where we are putting a lot of effort to make sure that the contribution of tourism to GDP triples. One of our key objectives is to make sure that tourism is promoted nationally, regionally and internationally,” he said.
He noted that together with the government and the World Bank, PSFU is working on a project to promote Uganda as one of the best tourist destinations.
The engagement is also facilitated by the Uganda Tourism Board, which is mandated to promote and market Uganda as a tourism destination.
UTB CEO Lilly Ajarova recently said that Uganda is looking to take advantage of visitors from Kenya.
“When we look at the East African market and the rest of Africa, Kenya has given us the most arrivals in the country. With this, we would like to strengthen the relationship with the Kenyan market because we know that there is an opportunity to have even more In In the past, Kenyans got information through other sources, but now we are making a purposeful move to deal with tour operators who could help us the most,” Ajarova said.
“Kenyan tour operators will experience the wildlife, scenery, culture, food and more so they can understand from their own experience how they can package Uganda for the Kenyan and other markets. This will ensure we grow the number not only from Kenya, but also from other parts of East Africa, Africa and the rest of the world in general.”