Canada Association of Tourism Employees

Uganda Tourism Board launches sixth Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo

The Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE 2021) is the first virtual tourism exhibition in Uganda with a focus on restoring, rebuilding, reconnecting and restarting the Ugandan tourism sector.

  1. POATE is a tourism exhibition organized annually by the Uganda Tourism Board.
  2. The start of POATE 2021 from April 23 to 25, 2021 is under the theme: “Resumption of tourism for regional economic development”.
  3. The decision to go virtual was influenced not only by the unique challenges of COVID-19, but also by UTB’s desire to use the internet to get as many on board as possible.

Amid optimism and a glimmer of hope in the revival of the tourism sector, the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) officially launched the 6th Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE 2021) on March 10, 2021. It was the first virtual tourism exhibition for Uganda as confirmed by Sandra Natukunda, Senior Public Relations Officer of UTB.

POATE is a tourism exhibition organized annually by the Uganda Tourism Board. It brings together national, regional and international tour operators, travel agencies, destination agencies and various players in the tourism industry in order to network and facilitate the tourism business.

The launch of POATE 2021, which will take place from April 23-25, 2021 under the theme “Resumption of Tourism for Regional Economic Development,” is taking place amid a slowdown in the growth of COVID-19 cases, as well as 350 million doses of the According to the World Health Organization, the COVID-19 vaccine is given worldwide.

Lilly Ajarova, CEO of UTB, stated that the decision to go virtual was influenced and influenced not only by the unique physical and logistical challenges of COVID-19 and the limitations that come with it, but also out of UTB’s desire to Use internet to get on board as many participants as possible.

“We have built a special virtual meeting platform to enable one-on-one, virtual speed networking and live conference sessions for national, regional and international tourism stakeholders,” she said.

The virtual platform has unique capabilities such as:

  • Directory listings: This is similar to on-booth presentations, where exhibitors can showcase their products and services in a variety of multimedia formats, including videos, website links, and e-brochures. For easy searchability and financing availability, exhibitors can list their product and service categories.
  • 1-to-1 meetings: The meetings within the platform are reserved exclusively for buyers, media and exhibitors and enable participants to connect with professionals in the travel industry at the highest level with direct purchasing power. Participants can create their participant profile and add products and regions they want to buy from. This allows exhibitors and other attendees to quickly find and find contacts that suit their business needs.
  • Lead generation: With the virtual platform, participants can remotely plan individual 30-minute video meetings and network with industry experts. The system also enables various functions, such as exchanging business cards, drawing up draft contracts, etc.
  • Content Session Selection: Attendees will have a variety of live sessions, debates and forums from industry experts to choose from. A variety of topics were lined up by experts in key areas such as hotels, aviation, resilience, sustainability and recreation in a post-COVID-19 world.

POATE 2021 participants will be screened against a number of criteria developed by the National Organizing Committee to ensure they are of the right caliber to showcase Destination Uganda’s offerings.

Hosted buyers and exhibitors are sourced from the existing core and emerging source markets in the East African region (Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda), the rest of Africa (Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa) and the international markets (North America, Great Britain) and Ireland and German-speaking countries , Japan, Gulf States and China as well as new markets (France, Belgium and the Netherlands).

In the next few days, UTB will continue to draw the industry’s attention to how the numerous possibilities of POATE 2021 can best be used.

“Building on the successes of POATE 2020, where we saw exhibitor growth of 138%, from 63 exhibitors in 2018 to 150 exhibitors in 2020, and harnessing the power of the internet, we expect more than 200 exhibitors this time around,” she said Continuation.

As we prepare for the gradual recovery of the global regional tourism sector, we believe that POATE 2021 will help:

  • Increased sense of purpose: With POATE 2021, trade visitors and exhibitors can present and receive the latest information on available tourism products from Uganda and the rest of the world.
  • Improved product knowledge: At the fair, providers of tourism products can test the acceptance of these products on the Ugandan market after COVID-19.
  • Improved Distribution of Tourism Services: With POATE 2021, tourism product distributors will be able to interact with suppliers and distributors in the value chain to build relationships necessary for business sustainability.

– New Deals and Improved Private Sector Development: During POATE 2021, providers of services and products related to tourism will make and sign deals through on-site travel bookings. An estimated ROI of 12.2 billion UGX is expected in the following fiscal years.

– relationship building; POATE 2021 offers the opportunity for important players in the tourism industry to network online. It will also provide a useful platform for stakeholders to explore collaborative exchanges and activities.

At the start, Hon. Daudi Migereko, Chairman of the 4th Board of Directors of UTB, was confident about POATE 2021: “By and large, we can say that there is no better time to send a message of hope to the tourism sector . A message focused on restoring, rebuilding, reconnecting and restarting the Ugandan tourism sector. “

Hon.Godfrey Ssuubi Kiwanda, Minister of State for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiques in the Ugandan Cabinet, emphasized the importance of the private sector in starting the tourism industry in Uganda:

“Domestically, we know the private sector has bounced back in today’s new normal, and we know it wasn’t easy and won’t be easy anytime soon. But yes, there is light at the end of the tunnel, and as a government we’ve also done our homework by taking stock, finding resources and developing a comeback strategy to help UTB with its recovery efforts. “

According to the Bank of Uganda’s monetary policy report for February, the Ugandan economy is expected to grow between 3% and 3.5% this fiscal year.

UTB is optimistic that global vaccination will trigger the resumption of international tourists to the country. According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the tourism industry is recovering. 2021 is expected to be better than 2020 and a recovery is expected in 2022.


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