UTB in digital domestic tourism campaign

By Edwin Muhumuza

Uganda Tourism Board has launched an 8-week long digital campaign to promote domestic tourism dubbed ‘Take on the Pearl’.

Ever since the country was closed to visitors in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sector has suffered immense revenue shortfalls and unemployment a trend that is anticipated to reflect in the national revenue purse.

Uganda is the number one tourism destination globally and has year after year held that spot and in a bid to maintain it, domestic tourism is key in jump starting the sector in addition to putting a spotlight on some of the country’s prized tourist attractions.

The Uganda Tourism Board CEO, Lilly Ajarova noted the opportunity presented by the COVID-19 pandemic is to look inwards and therefore travel the country and close the seasonality gap that has been created.

‘’the campaign aims to both create awareness and also educate Ugandans on the various tourist spots around the country; with emphasis on What? When? How? Who? And Where to Travel,” Ajarova said.

According to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) panel experts, domestic tourism will recover faster than international demand and will be a key driver for tourism recovery across destinations.

Additionally, the panel points to a start of the recovery of international demand mostly in 2021 noting that considerable challenges remain ahead, starting with the unknown duration of the pandemic and travel restrictions, in a context of global economic recession.

Speaking at the launch the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Mrs. Doreen Katusiime noted that the campaign will give Ugandans and opportunity to know their country.

The President of the Uganda Tourism Association, Pearl Horreau Kakooza said that the move is an indicator to the readiness of the tourism private sector to receive and serve Ugandans as they experience the country.

“Our fully trained Safari guides are available to show hidden gems of our beautiful Uganda. The hotels are now offering discounted accommodation; the tour operators are keen to advise Ugandans on where to visit as we start on the journey to “Take on The Pearl”, she said.

The take on the Pearl Digital Challenge will require participants to Post the contest photo on Visit Uganda social media pages every Friday, get people to respond with name of the place and the reasons why they want to go to that place, for a chance to win the trip.

Also People get their friends and family to come and like their comments, correct comment with highest likes by Tuesday of the following week is selected the week’s winner.

There will be 2 winners per week for 8 weeks and will be announced at the beginning of the week and shall take their trip over the weekend; Friday to Sunday.

According to UTB, What is more important to note is that UTB will not award the 2 winners but there will be a lot of giveaways, discounted accommodation and travel packages rates to enjoy in the course of the campaign.

“Known as the “Pearl of Africa,” Uganda is located in East Africa and offers some of the continent’s most diverse wildlife viewing, dramatic landscapes, and immersive cultural experiences and warm people and hospitality.

Uganda is home to more than half the world’s population of endangered mountain gorillas, and trekking to observe these gentle giants in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is one of the world’s top bucket list travel activities.

Safari opportunities abound in savanna, forest, and wetland settings throughout 10 national parks, where visitors can come face to face with “The Big Five” – lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and buffalo – as well as giraffe, zebra, chimpanzee, hippopotamus, crocodile, and more than half of all bird species found in Africa.

Among Uganda’s extraordinary natural attractions are the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains; expansive Lake Victoria, which forms the source of the Nile River; and Murchison Falls National Park.