By Joan Ahumuza
Uganda Tourism Board has officially launched the “Experience Uganda–First!” campaign, in what is the first time for Uganda to create and promote a travel package exclusively for locals and residents of the Gulf Countries.
The campaign, which offers selected G.C.C. travel agencies unique travel holiday packages based on a number of themes along with complimentary airport transfers for their clients, was launched recently at an event held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel Dubai, attended by Tourism minister Ephraim Kamuntu and the Ugandan Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and IRENA, Ambassador Zaake Wanume Kibedi, plus members of the Ugandan Government and Parliament.
The campaign promotes Destination Uganda aka the Pearl of Africa- as a premier adventure and nature holiday destination for families, groups, couples and young adults, seeking travel experiences that create memories savoured by visitors for a lifetime.
Being home to the highest concentration of primates and birds in Africa, the special promotional holiday packages include guided safaris, River Nile boating excursions, unique mountain gorilla treks, wild chimpanzee encounters and pampering at luxury lodges and resorts.
Prof. Kamuntu said: “We are excited to showcase the very best that Uganda has to offer as a holiday destination for meaningful and sustainable travel. It is hoped that through these marketing efforts that more nationals and residents of the Gulf countries will visit Uganda, see first-hand the exceptional natural and human resources and talent that make Uganda so special, especially as a holiday destination.”
Kibedi said; “The Gulf Countries are a region of focus and commitment for Uganda going forward. To that end the Uganda Tourism Board has established a representative office with AVIAREPS based in Dubai to cover the whole GCC region. Various destination marketing activities, including this campaign launch, are being conducted in the region to make Uganda more accessible for travelers and travel agents alike, to ensure that Uganda becomes a ‘bucket list’ holiday destination that doesn’t disappoint.”
Many travel and nature enthusiasts from the Middle East are yet to visit and experience the Pearl of Africa. The ‘Experience Uganda – First!’ campaign was created to address this concern.
A number of holiday packages have been especially curated to cover themes such as trekking to encounter Mountain Gorillas, adventure with white water rafting trips down the River Nile, Safari trips to experience Uganda’s plethora of wildlife from the comfort and safety of 4-wheel vehicles, chimpanzee encounters, and even coffee tours to name a few.
Four and five-star accommodation packages are also included, providing personalized service and pampering. The packages have been especially tailored to cater for the needs of visitors from the GCC region, as well as for those travelling as couples, families, or with friends.
As part of its ongoing marketing activities in the region, the Uganda Tourism Board will also be launching an online training program for Middle East travel agents, in order for them to become experts in promoting Uganda to their clients, and a social media campaign under the hashtag #ExperienceUganda 1st, whereby travelers are encouraged to visit the Pearl of Africa before their well-travelled social circle friends and acquaintances.
The campaign launch was attended by more than 50 of the UAE’s leading travel agencies, and Uganda Tourism Board officials, plus several Uganda tour operator representatives. To kick off the launch, Ndere Troupe, a cultural dance Performance group from Uganda also entertained the audience, showcasing the cultural attractions Uganda has to offer.
Uganda is easily accessible from the UAE with direct daily flights from Dubai to Entebbe, Uganda, with Emirates and fly Dubai.