Home » News: 300 Exhibitors, 100 hosted buyers expected at East African tourism expo The Pearl of Africa Expo (POATE)

News: 300 Exhibitors, 100 hosted buyers expected at East African tourism expo The Pearl of Africa Expo (POATE)

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Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo

Following its postponement from February, all is set for the 7th edition of the Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE), the leading tourism trade fair in East Africa.

The annual expo put together by the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) is looking to draw in hundreds of tourism trade partners such as hosted buyers, Regional Tourism Boards, International Tour Operators and Associations, Hoteliers, travel agencies, journalists and other line entities

According to Chimp Reports, the seventh edition of the Expo themed “Explore Uganda the Pearl of Africa” is scheduled for April 26th to 29th at the Commonwealth Resort in Munyonyo.

Speaking to the press on Monday, Uganda Tourism Board CEO Lilly Ajarova said this edition of the Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo is particularly critical since it will be a springboard for marketing destination Uganda post the Covid-19 pandemic.

READ: Africa: Treasury Slashes Uganda Tourism Budget by 70%

“Unlike the previous expo which was held virtually in 2021, this edition will be a physical one. We are encouraging all the players to come and explore- not only the internationals coming in but all of us because there are different activities that to be conducted to enable participants explore what Uganda has to offer both virtually and physically,” Ajarova said.

READ: Africa: Uganda Tourism to unveil “Explore Uganda” Campaign at Akwaaba African Travel Market 2022

She added that the expected participants are key players in the tourism sector both domestic, regional and international along the tourism value chain such as tour operators, travel agents, airlines, representatives from host community, cultural sites, National Parks among others. 300 exhibitors are, as a component of the expo, expected to showcase their products at the venue including tourism boards, corporate entities, individuals among others.

“We will also be hosting 100 international tour operators who sell Africa and we are being very strategic on who are inviting on this ticket. There are a number of whole sellers out there who are selling African destinations so we need them to come and experience Uganda and include the country in their packages,” said Ajarova.

READ: Africa: Uganda Tourism Board adopts new strategy to sell the country as a preferred destination in Africa

The 100 international buyers will be coming from the core source markets within and outside the continent including South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Egypt, German speaking countries such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Spain.

These will do familiarization tours around the country to get the various experiences that will enable them make informed decisions as regards including the country in their travel itineraries and selling destination Uganda better.

READ: Africa: Uganda Tourism Board CEO, American Movie Star, Terence Howard Go On Chimpanzee Tracking At Kibale National Park

Speaking during a media update on the forthcoming expo, Isa Kato, a board member of the Association of Uganda Tour Operators noted that the expo is crucial for highlighting particular attractions and tour packages in Uganda that are known to lure in tourists and keep them within the country longer.

These, Kato said, include heritage tourism with subsections like culture, hospitality and culinary experiences, birding which requires countrywide travel for a wholesome experience and gorilla trekking.

Bradford Ochieng, the Deputy CEO Uganda Tourism Board who is also the Chairman of the national organizing committee, said all is set for the expo and rallied Ugandans to turn up for exhibitions and other activities such as seminars and presentations. The Expo will be headlined by 5 seminars on tourism investment, sustainability, Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE), Business-to-Business meetings with the participants and the last day will be dedicated to Business-to-consumer engagements.

The side-line events will be used for networking with exhibitors, tourism boards and associations. The expo will also offer a perfect opportunity to introduce the Pearl of Africa brand to the expected 5,000 participants and millions of Ugandans.

POATE and Domestic Tourism

On the domestic tourism front, the expo is expected to boost the destination’s domestic tourism activities and the awareness of the attractions in Uganda. To this end, the final day of the expo has been ringfenced as a Consumer Day; gates will be open for Ugandans that are interested in interacting with the POATE exhibitors and to expose themselves to the tourism opportunities and attractions in Uganda and the rest of Africa.

Entrance is Shs10,000 per person; the domestic exhibitors will be charged Shs 500,000 while the regional and foreign companies will have to part with Shs 1,900,000 to participate in the exhibition.

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