Africa: Indigenous tour operators to benefit from Uganda tourism fair, says UTB boss


As Uganda gets set to host the global tourism community through its annual Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE), 2020, Executive Director, Uganda Tourism Board, Lily Ajarova says the fair will be of immense benefit to local tour operators in the country.

According to, Ajarova stated that the fair which is in its 5th years, is an effort to present Uganda as a complete destination and will open doors for local actors to do business internationally.

The exhibition, which will also attract international stakeholders, is scheduled for February 4 to 6 at the Speke Resort, Munyonyo.

The annual tourism event in the East African region brings together travel agents, tour operators, hoteliers, destination managers and other service providers in the tourism sector.

Ms. Ajarova said that POATE had done well to promote Destination Uganda and to present the country as a complete package.

“The 5th edition of POATE will build on what we have already done during the first four editions,” she said.

“Ugandan commercial operators sign contracts with buyers who experience Ugandan tourism in order to monitor and sign contracts with buyers from different European countries, Kenya and more,” she said declared.

Several tour operators and international media are expected to set foot in Uganda today and will be off to tour the countryside to explore attractions and amenities prior to the exhibit.

During the Expo, seminar sessions with experts sharing topics related to tourism will also be organized with 5 sessions addressing topics on the development of sustainable tourism, accommodation, accessibility in Africa, tourism and connectivity and also discuss emerging trends in the tourism sector.

POATE will be sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, the Uganda Wildlife Authority, the Uganda Wildlife Education Center, Uganda Airways, the Uganda Tourism Association, individual tourism operators, the Speke Resort Munyonyo, the Sheraton Hotel, among other partners.

According to, Ajarova said the fair is expected to host over 50 companies within Africa and around 10 international media personalities.

She said: “The Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo is an important activity for the tourism sector in Uganda. We shall have international travelers and buyers hosted here for at least four or more days. At least we shall be hosting 50 companies from within Africa and around 10 international media personalities, who have a huge network to market destination Uganda.

“Before the expo starts, the hosted buyers and media are scheduled to get hear a week before and we are going to take them around the country to experience the Pearl of Africa before they settle in for meetings.

“Therefore, the expo will not only enable Ugandans to cash in through accommodation, food and knowledge exchange, but it will also give Uganda international exposure” she said.

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