Uganda has launched a new tourism destination brand— Explore Uganda, The Pearl of Africa, drawing upon Uganda’s global reputation as one of the most endowed destinations and promising tourists an adventure of a lifetime.

The brand identity was unveiled recently by the country's president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in Kampala, Uganda’s capital city. The brand was developed by Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), Uganda’s tourism marketing and regulatory agency.

The Uganda Tourism Board Chief Executive Officer Lilly Ajarova said: “Uganda is no doubt beautiful. Beautiful beyond measure. Yes, everyone knew that Uganda is and has always been the Pearl of Africa, - but there was a lack of clarity and consistency on, if Uganda is the Pearl of Africa- what pearls does it have to offer for each of the various travel segments and preferences.

“To win the marketplace; to achieve our Number One objective of “Sustainably Promoting Uganda as a Competitive Tourism Destination for Inclusive Development” it was therefore important that all stakeholders are aligned on what makes us the Pearl of Africa and how do we unpack that to the various travel markets/segments around the world.”

“If you think about it, when you invite someone to visit you, you are simply asking them to check on you, maybe for a few days. But an invitation to ‘explore’ is really about inviting someone to indulge themselves. To spoil themselves; to delve into; to deep-dive; to discover and rediscover- the depth, range and variety of attractions in the pearl,” Ajarova explained.

Speaking at the launch, President Museveni urged beckoned the world to Explore Uganda, The Pearl of Africa saying that, the uniqueness of her attractions guaranteed a better experience and higher return on investment. He particularly extolled Uganda’s unique terrain, that made the country a “roof of Africa” where Lake Victoria sits, giving birth to the Mighty River Nile that flows through various Ugandan lakes on its way to Alexandria in Egypt.

He also highlighted Uganda’s abundant vegetation, temperate climate, variety of wildlife, strategic location on the Equator, cultural diversity, community tourism, peace and security, among others.

He also said, Uganda’s unique place in anthropogeny as the birthplace of humankind should be studied, documented and sold as a tourist attraction.

The rebranding is an essential component of UTB’s Strategic Plan (FY 2020/21 – 2024/25) that seeks to “Sustainably Promote Uganda as a Competitive Tourism Destination for Inclusive Development” with a strategic goal to “sustainably increase the volume and value of tourism in Uganda.”

Under this plan, UTB is pursuing 5 major objectives, namely:

• To increase tourist arrivals

• To increase investment and job creation in the tourism sector

• Increase the competitiveness of the tourism destination

• To Improve Collection and Access to Tourism Information

• To improve internal efficiency and effectiveness

• Recover from the impact of the pandemic that saw us lose up to USD1 billion in revenue in 2020, reach the pre-pandemic levels of $1.45 billion and grow that further to USD 1.862 billion

• Recover the contribution of tourism to total employment at 667,600 people (6.3% of total employment)

• Increase inbound tourism revenues per visitor from USD1,036 to USD1,500

• Recover the average number of International Tourist arrivals from the U.S, Europe, Middle East, China and Japan at 225,300 tourists

• Increase the proportion of leisure to total tourists from 20.1% to 30%

• Increase the number of direct flight routes to Europe and Asia from 6 to 30

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