Despite the negative articles that were recently published claiming that Uganda had a dismal performance at the recent ITB Fair, we at Uganda Wildlife Authority, are convinced that Uganda made a good show of itself at the 5-day Fair given the circumstances.
Uganda was represented by the Minister of State for Tourism from MTTI, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), and nine tour companies. Even with the uncertainty of participating in the ITB Fair till the last minute, participants bravely soldiered on and some of them were forced to carry boxes of brochures on their heads to the venue in time for the opening.
Uganda put up a wonderful dancing performance after the Uganda Embassy in Germany brought in drummers and dancers comprising Ugandan residents in Germany. UWA staff also danced skilfully, particularly our Warden for Tourism in Queen Elizabeth National Park who attracted many photo requests from show goers. Visitors were interested in knowing the following:
- The different core tourist attractions in the country
- The standards of hotels and accommodation facilities in various protected areas.
- Travel tips on Uganda Eg acquiring Visas, Vaccinations, Currency, money transfers.
- Availability of documented history and culture of the people of Uganda
- Procedures of purchasing gorilla and chimp permits and related mountain climbing guidelines
- New tourism products other than the gorilla tracking
- Investment opportunities in Wildlife management and tourism development activities
- Current security situation in the country and the management of Ebola epidemic
- Geographical location and general politics of the country and the region at large
- Availability of tourist maps especially for Uganda, DVDs, CDs
- An average cost an individual would incur to travel to Uganda for a tour.
- Availability of interpretation materials in German language other than in English to enable potential clients fully understand what to expect and how to make direct contacts with UWA on email, telephones and website.
All this information was ably provided by the joint team of Ugandans comprising UWA, UTB, and 9 private tour companies who were boosted by the presence of the Minister of State and the Uganda Ambassodor to Germany.
UWA appreciates the fact that Uganda can perform much better at the international travel fairs if the necessary funds can be released on time. Relevant government departments must work closely with the Ministry of Finance to ensure that adequate funds are made available in each financial year to undertake this very important activity.
UWA will not shy from making difficult decisions that will ensure that Uganda as a country and its citizens benefit maximally from our wildlife conservation and tourism development efforts. We only ask for political support and goodwill from the public to turn this country into a top eco-tourism destination as stated in our Vision Statement : To be a leading self-sustaining wildlife conservation agency that transforms Uganda into one of the best ecotourism destinations in Africa”.