Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) launched the new brand— Explore Uganda, The Pearl of Africa, in Dubai with the presence of Tom Butime, Uganda’s Cabinet Minister of Tourism
On the 30th of March, 2022, Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), the government of Uganda’s destination marketing organization, launched its new destination brand Explore Uganda, The Pearl of Africa, as part of a tourism and media event held at the Sheraton Jumeriah Beach Resort in Dubai. The launch was conducted in the presence of the honorable Tom Butime, Uganda’s Cabinet Minister for Tourism, and resulted in the United Arab Emirates becoming the first international market to experience the launch of Uganda’s new and improved brand.
The extravagant open air evening event saw an impressive turnout with more than 90 key industry stakeholders, professionals, media and travel bloggers flocking from around the Emirates and GCC countries, to learn more about the intriguing destination that is Uganda.
Speaking at the launch and heading a delegation of tourism officials and key professionals from the Ugandan tourism industry, the Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, the Honorable Tom R Butime said: “Uganda is extremely excited to launch our revitalized brand and travel offering to the world, and we are thrilled to do that here in Dubai, where the UAE and surrounding Gulf States are a priority tourism market for Uganda. Through our continuous promotional efforts in the region and participation in Expo 2020 Dubai over the last six months, we have developed the necessary networks and offerings to ensure Uganda is positioned as a top holiday destination for travelers from the UAE and GCC seeking meaningful and unique once in a life time experiences.”
Ms. Lilly Ajarova, Chief Executive Office, Uganda Tourism Board added: “The new brand promise seeks to re-emphasize Uganda’s rare and precious range of tourism attractions that can all be found in one destination and based on pillars of sustainability, clarity, consistency, collaboration and empowerment. To this end we are targeting travellers, rather than tourists, that are ready to explore Uganda based on their own personal interests”.
Uganda is home to an array of bucket list experiences that in combination can’t be experienced in any other one country on earth. These include the Big 5 (Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, Lion and Leopard) safari experiences, mountain gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, river cruises at the source of the Nile River and a myriad of action-adventure activities such as white-water rafting, bungy jumping and mountaineering to name just a few.
In addition to the launch of the new promotional video by Minister Butime, the event also featured traditional dancing, Ugandan coffee tasting, a talk show discussion with Dubai residents that have previously visited Uganda, and the announcement of three influential content creators that have been nominated as Uganda Goodwill Travel Ambassadors, and will visit Uganda in the coming months to showcase the best that Uganda has to offer.
Uganda has exceptional direct flight connectivity between Uganda and the UAE, with Uganda’s national airline, Ugandan Airlines flying 4 flights a week from Dubai, in addition to Emirates flying 5 times a week and flydubai operating daily flights from Dubai, and Air Arabia operating daily flights from Sharjah. Using the wide variety of carriers and flight options available, the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), has been launching a number of partnerships and activations in the region to ensure UAE and Gulf travelers enjoy meaningful holiday experiences in the stunning Pearl of Africa. Special holiday packages have also been created just in time for Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr holidays and for throughout the summer season.
ABOUT UGANDA TOURISM BOARD (UTB)
Created by the Tourism Act (2008), Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) is the official Government of Uganda’s destination marketing organization for Destination Uganda, the Pearl of Africa. UTB exists to sustainably promote Uganda as the most preferred and competitive destination for tourists and tourism investments in Africa. By working with stakeholders in the tourism sector to market Destiation Uganda while encouraging investment, education, training and research as well as developing and monitoring standards in the tourism sector, UTB has since its inception, 13 years ago, grown the number of tourist arrivals by 78% from 844,000 in 2008/09 to 1,500,000 in 2018/19. This is slightly above global growth rates of 63% in the same period. As a result, sector foreign exchange earnings have nearly tripled, growing by more than 171%, from US$590 million to US$1.6 billion in the same period. Today the tourism industry directly and indirectly creates 667,600 jobs, 77% of whom are youth aged18-30 years and accounts for 7.7% of GDP.
By 2024/25 and barring for the effects of Covid-19, UTB plans to grow international tourist arrivals from the key source markets i.e., U.S., Europe and China from 210,000 to 500,000 tourists- a core element in increasing Uganda’s annual tourism revenues from US$1.6 billion to US$3.0 billion! This will increase the contribution of tourism to total employment from 6.3% to 10% which is equivalent to 433,000 new jobs or an increase from the current 667,600 jobs to 1,100,000 jobs. This will increase the total contribution of tourism to GDP from 7.7% to 9%.
“Known as the “Pearl of Africa,” Uganda is located in East Africa and offers some of the continent’s most diverse wildlife viewing, dramatic landscapes, and immersive cultural experiences and warm people and hospitality. Uganda is home to more than half the world’s population of endangered mountain gorillas and trekking to observe these gentle giants in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the world’s top bucket list travel activities. Safari opportunities abound in savanna, forest, and wetland settings throughout 10 national parks, where visitors can come face to face with “The Big Five + 2 ” – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo, chimpanzee and mountain gorilla– as well as giraffe, zebra, hippopotamus, crocodile, and more than half of all bird species found in Africa. Among Uganda’s extraordinary natural attractions are the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains; expansive Lake Victoria, which forms the source of the Nile River; and Murchison Falls National Park. For more information, please visit; www.visituganda.com”