By Edwin Muhumuza
Uganda Airlines has committed to brand its offices in various cities and airports across the world with Brand Destination Uganda.
This is a bid to promote Uganda’s unrivaled tourism potential to the world through messages on some of the airline’s platforms and assets such as sales offices, aeroplanes, in flight magazines, in flight entertainment systems, online platforms- including website and social media sites.
The move follows an agreement with the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) to reciprocate the gesture through its tourism promotional campaigns and platforms to present Uganda Airlines as the most convenient way to travel to Uganda in addition to empowering its staff with knowledge on Uganda as a tourist destination.
The deal will see both organizations commit to running joint marketing campaigns, sharing market and research data as well as jointly develop #VisitUganda tour and travel packages for special events and holiday to motivate passengers to fly Uganda Airlines.
Uganda Tourism Board’s CEO, Lilly Ajarova said the initiatives, are about increasing awareness about brand Destination Uganda in several key African source markets, also to ultimately lower further the cost- both in time and money of travelling to Uganda- whether it is for business or leisure.
“World over, airlines, especially national carriers offer a unique opportunity to deliver the very first experience of a destination- in this case, Destination Uganda. The food, the in flight information and entertainment as well as how well the staff across the entire airline chain are well informed about Destination Uganda, all combined are important in improving and influencing visitor perceptions in our favor,”Ajarova noted.
Here remarks came as UTB hosted staff of Uganda Airlines, on a 6-day tourism familiarization trip to South Western and Eastern Uganda.
The expedition saw the Uganda Airlines team experience the Equator, the Igongo Museum where they immersed themselves into the diverse and rich traditional history of the region including culture, food, dressing, music, housing and more.
At Bwindi, they experienced the adventuresome Gorilla tracking and went on to feed their curiosity at Queen Elizabeth National Park where they saw several wildlife species such as buffaloes, antelopes, lions, bush pigs and birds, among other wildlife species. They also relished the famous Kazinga Channel boat ride – the best opportunity to see the largest collection of animals in the Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Lenny Malasi, the Uganda Airlines, Kenya Sales Manager said that “Uganda is very attractive. This trip has opened up our eyes in terms of how we can showcase this attractiveness to Kenya, but also the entire world. This knowledge, we have gained, will further help us to position Uganda Airlines as a strategic tool in market Destination Uganda to the routes we fly to in Africa as well as the upcoming strategic routes to London, Mumbai, Guangzhou and Bangkok. These are very critical tourism markets,”
The Uganda Airlines team was drawn from the carrier’s offices in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya- countries that are among the largest sources of visitor numbers to Uganda ahead of the much-awaited Uganda Airlines’ inter-continental operations to Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Ms Ajarova said that the Uganda Airlines partnership is part of an ongoing strategy to work with both the private sector and other experts to develop innovative itineraries that optimize tourism value by encouraging longer stay and increasing expenditure along the value chain.