UGANDA EMBRACES GLOBAL TOURISM AGENDA - 66th UNWTO CAF MEETINGS
UGANDA EMBRACES GLOBAL TOURISM AGENDA
UGANDA EMBRACES GLOBAL TOURISM AGENDA Uganda - Kampala, 31 July, 2023. Uganda joined the rest of the world for United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) 66th Regional Commission for Africa, opened by Prime Minister Republic of Mauritius Pravind Kumar Jugnauth in Mauritius. The Uganda delegation was led by Minister of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities Hon. Tom Butime, joined by UTB Board Director Mr. Mwanja Paul Patrick, and CEO UTB Lilly Ajarova among others. The team rolled out the country’s Explore Uganda, The Pearl of Africa brand to the delegates, and sealed the country’s commitment to sustainable and responsible tourism. This has opened opportunities for collaboration of Uganda with the global tourism community. Uganda recognizes the significance of striking a harmonious balance between tourism growth and environmental conservation. Through active participation in this UNWTO meeting, Uganda reaffirmed its commitment to promote sustainable tourism practices that benefit local communities, protect natural resources, and preserve cultural heritage.
In his welcome remarks, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili stated that “The UNWTO Agenda for Africa had been adapted. Our vision for African tourism is one of strong governance, more education and more and better jobs. To achieve it, we aim to promote innovation, advocate for Brand Africa, facilitate travel, and unlock growth through investment and public-private partnerships.”
Uganda's Minister of Tourism, Hon. Tom Butime on the event sidelines explained that the country’s participation in the UNWTO activities reflects Uganda’s unwavering commitment to preserve its natural treasures, promoting cultural exchange, and empowering local communities through responsible tourism practices. “We are thrilled to collaborate with the global tourism community and contribute actively to the shared vision of sustainable tourism development," he said.
As a member of UNWTO, Uganda is poised to benefit from a plethora of advantages, including access to valuable tourism research and data, technical assistance, capacity-building initiatives, and opportunities for networking with industry leaders from around the world. Additionally, Uganda's membership will bolster its reputation as a top-notch tourist destination, attracting even more visitors seeking unforgettable experiences.
UNWTO latest data indicates that tourism across Africa is returning to post the pandemic numbers with International arrivals across Africa back to 88% of pre-pandemic levels at the end of the first quarter of this year. Globally, international tourism receipts reached USD 1 billion in 2022, a 50% growth compared to 2021.
CEO UTB Lilly Ajarova noted that “Uganda continues to recover from the challenges posed by the global pandemic. The UNWTO membership will serve as a catalyst for rejuvenating the tourism sector, fostering economic growth, and providing livelihood opportunities for local communities.” The meeting realigned the sector’s role as a driver of development and opportunity across the region. Special discussion was given to the opportunity’s tourism presents like jobs and investments.