The Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has launched the 6th Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE 2021), which for the first time-ever, will be held virtually. The 3-day event is scheduled to take place on 23rd-25th April 2020 under the theme, “Restarting Tourism for Regional Economic Development.” Speaking at the launch event yesterday March 10, CEO of UTB, Lilly Ajarova said, “Well aware that different players in the sector were affected variously, the key focus of POATE 2021, will be on 4 major sub-topics i.e. Recovery, Rebuilding; Reconnecting and Rebooting the sector. CEO of UTB, Lilly Ajarova in a photograph with Hon. Godrey Ssuubi Kiwanda, Uganda’s State Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities “In light of the current climate in which multiple travel restrictions especially in some of our key markets, as well as the need to ensure safety for all participants, POATE 2021 will exclusively be virtual. “We have built, a specialised virtual meeting platforms that shall facilitate one-on-one meetings, virtual speed networking sessions as well as live conference sessions for domestic, regional and international tourism players.” Participants for POATE 2021, according to the CEO, will be vetted through a set of criteria that has been developed by the National organizing committee to ensure they are of the right calibre to showcase Destination Uganda’s offering. “In line with UTB’s recovery marketing strategy, hosted buyers and exhibitors will be sourced from the existing core and emerging source markets within the East African Region (Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda), rest of Africa (Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa) and the international markets (North America, UK and Ireland, Germany speaking countries, Japan, Gulf states and China and the new markets of France, Belgium + Netherlands. “Participating hosted buyers will be sourced through the newly procured Market Destination Representative firms (MDRs) following a ratio of 80:20, in favour of core markets,” she revealed. Ms. Lilly added that they hope to build on the successes of POATE 2020 where we registered a 138% growth in exhibitors, from 63 exhibitors in 2018 to 150 exhibitors in 2020, and leveraging the power of the internet, this time we expect to attract more than 200 exhibitors. POATE is a tourism exposition organized annually by the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB). It brings together, all of Uganda’s tourism stakeholders for the greater purpose of individually showcasing their potential to the world on one hand, and jointly, to raise the profile of Uganda as a competitive and attractive destination for domestic, regional and international tourists.
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