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POATE 2024: A Catalyst for Uganda’s Tourism Growth

The Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE) 2024 kicked off with great enthusiasm, signaling a renewed commitment from stakeholders in Uganda’s tourism industry to increase earnings significantly over the next four years. This year’s event, held in Munyonyo, Kampala, highlights the pressing need for promotion and innovation within the sector to achieve ambitious growth targets.

Setting Ambitious Goals

Tourism Minister Tom Butime, speaking at the event, outlined the government’s bold vision to boost Uganda’s tourism earnings to $5 billion (Shs18.9 trillion) by 2028. “To achieve this, we are undertaking several measures, including ensuring the security of our country, developing tourism sites through improved accessibility, diversification, and leveraging technology to enhance our marketing efforts,” he stated.

A Sustainable Approach

Now in its eighth edition, POATE 2024 is poised to introduce a new approach with sustainable tourism at its core. This strategy aims to position tourism as an attractive and viable venture capable of driving significant development in the country.

Vice President Jessica Alupo emphasized the sector’s potential, noting, “Tourism is one of the most interesting sectors in government where you work while enjoying. I have been enjoying since Saturday when we were in Soroti, east of Kampala.” In a message delivered by Alupo, President Yoweri Museveni underscored tourism’s critical role in national development. He highlighted the government’s prioritization of the sector as a formidable growth engine.

Leveraging Uganda’s Strengths

President Museveni also pointed out Uganda’s demographic advantage, with a young population providing an abundant labor force that the tourism sector can harness. He advised integrating tourism into the parish development model to ensure widespread benefits. Additionally, he advocated for reducing the number of currencies in Africa through regional blocs to mitigate exchange rate losses.

Showcasing Uganda’s Potential

Lilly Ajarova, CEO of the Uganda Tourism Board, noted the expo’s impressive turnout, hosting over 70 buyers and more than 5,000 visitors and businesspeople. Ajarova highlighted the opportunity POATE presents to showcase Uganda’s offerings, stating, “We plan to expand marketing through digital channels, mainstream media, and influencer marketing. Write our story of the past, present, and the future.”

Various reviews have consistently ranked Uganda as one of the best tourism destinations globally, providing the country with a unique opportunity to highlight its tourism potential on the world stage.

Read Also: POATE 2024 is Upon Us: All You Need to Know

Commitment to Excellence

Dorine Katusime, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, praised the national organizing committee’s stellar performance over the years. She emphasized that the increasing number of visitors is a testament to Uganda’s progress toward achieving its tourism targets.

The Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo 2024 marks a pivotal moment for Uganda’s tourism industry. With strong government support, innovative strategies, and a focus on sustainability, the country is well-positioned to realize its ambitious goals and establish itself as a premier global tourism destination. As stakeholders continue to collaborate and innovate, the future of Uganda’s tourism sector looks promising, promising significant contributions to national development and economic growth.

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