TOURISM, Wildlife and Antiquities State Minister, Hon Dr Godfrey Kiwanda Ssuubi is leading a Uganda delegation to the International Travel Bourse (ITB) to be held in Berlin, Germany this week.
ITB Berlin 2019 will take place from Wednesday, 6 March to Sunday, 10 March, and from Wednesday to Friday will be open to trade visitors only.
The Uganda delegation comprising, officials from Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) and the private sector is already on the ground in Germany ready for the expo,” said Hon Kiwanda.
These include over 30 Ugandan tour operators, officials from UTB and Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA).
The Minister said Uganda’s participation at the ITB Berlin and other related International travel fairs was premised on the need for continuous investment in aggressive marketing in order for the tourism sector to achieve the projected growth rate.
Tourism is currently Uganda’s leading foreign exchange earner, bringing in excess of US$ 1.45 billion (which is 23.5% of the total trade fairs) annually.
Other participants from Uganda at ITB Berlin include; a team of 14 hoteliers led by Mrs. Susan Muhwezi, the Chairperson of Uganda Hotel Owners Association and over 10 other independent trade visitors.
In 2018 a total of 10,000 companies and organisations from 186 countries exhibited their products and services to around 170,000 visitors, including 110.000 trade visitors at ITB Berlin – the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show.
“The trade fair is a great opportunity for Ugandan tour operators to attract new business given the high profile as well as large number of participants that grace the event every year,” said Lilly Ajarova, the Uganda Tourism Board Chief Executive Officer.
Adding that, “ITB is without a doubt of invaluable importance to Uganda given that Germany is one of our top source markets. We believe that at this trade fair, our tour operators will be able to get bookings as well as get connections to new markets. Exhibitor satisfaction at ITB over the years has stood at over 90%, which is a sign of effective delivery on business.”
Uganda Hotel Owners Association (UHOA) Chairperson, Mrs. Susan Muhwezi also confirmed to Africa Tembelea that UHOA was in Berlin to bench mark.
“We are very much excited to be participating at this year’s edition of ITB Berlin as trade visitors,” Mrs. Muhwezi Said.
With Uganda having been voted the 5th best exhibitor out of over 800 participants in the African category at the annual showcase in the 2017 and 2018 trade fairs, there is hope that the Pearl of Africa will better this position given the preparations tour operators and the marketing board have undertaken noted UTB CEO, Lilly Ajarova.
This global forum, is not only meant to attract tour operators but also hotels, cities, airlines and various other services that are in line with travel and tourism thereby, making it a must attend show for any destination targeting the European market.