By Sebidde Kiryowa, Solomon Oleny
Uganda might have a chance to showcase her offerings through the world media at the Minister’s Media Talk during this coming weekend’s global tourism expo, INDABA 2016, in Durban, South Africa.
The highly anticipated Minister’s Media Talk, a panel discussion that will feature South African tourism minister, Derek Hanekom, global and African tourism experts, as well as South African leaders in the tourism business sector will take place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre during this year’s 37th edition of INDABA on Saturday, May 7, in Durban.
New York-based CNN news anchor and reporter, Richard Quest, will moderate the riveting debate which will discuss the role of tourism in generating economic growth and the threats and opportunities associated with it, such as job creation, foreign direct spend and social development.
Quest, a respected international journalist, anchors the globally acclaimed Quest Means Business on CNN international. In addition to anchoring the five-times- weekly business programme, Quest hosts the
monthly programme CNN Business Traveller and CNN Marketplace Europe. He formerly anchored the monthly show Quest and the daily show CNN Today which was geared towards morning audiences in Europe.
South African Tourism’s take
Fathima Adam, manager, marketing communications, Africa, at South African Tourism, the agency that is responsible for organising the expo says;
“This media talk will look at the businesses making major strides on the continent, assess the factors that work for or against the business and how, eventually, the benefits of these operators filter to the communities.”
She said the show will also focus on the pioneers and drivers of Africa’s tourism sector.
“In between, there will be a series of tourism speed marketing sessions which allow small operators an opportunity to pitch their business to a select group of buyers.”
It is not yet confirmed whether Uganda will be represented on the panel discussion but Amos Wekesa, chief executive officer of Great Lakes Safari and a highly regarded Ugandan tourism entrepreneur and activist, will be in attendance. Wekesa is a vocal self-styled promoter of Uganda who, if given an opportunity to address the world about Uganda at such a platform, will go a long way in selling us to the world.
Uganda, which is attending the 36-year- old expo for the third time this year, will send a delegation led by Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), the government agency tasked with promoting tourism in Uganda to the world.
Other government agencies to participate in the annual expo include Uganda Wildlife Authority, Civil Aviation Authority and Ugandan High Commission in South Africa.
In addition to Wekesa, 11 other tour operators, five of whom are property owners in game parks, will represent the private sector while Agnes Akiror, the tourism state minister and Ambassador Patrick Mugoya, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities will represent the political leadership.