In Summary
  • Notably, POATE is organised annually to provide an opportunity for tourism business operators to meet new clientele, market, network and discuss business.
  • UTB head of marketing Edwin Muhazura said this year’s expo has attracted 80 hosted buyers from countries such as India, USA, Portugal, Germany, South Africa, Isreal, and will gather more than 200 exhibitors.

KAMPALA. Hotels and lodges in tourist sites have continually filled to capacity prior to the 2017 Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE) that is scheduled to run from today to Sunday February 19 at Sheraton Kampala Hotel gardens.
For instance, Kyaninga Lodge located 12 kilometres northeast of Fort Portal Town in western Uganda, was fully occupied.
The lodge’s director Steven Williams said it is during such times that many tourists jet into the country from different parts of the world.
“This is one of our peak periods. We get big numbers of clientele, big enough to occupy all available accommodation. This is one of their stopovers since it is near sites such as Kibale NP. Others have been forced to find accommodation in the neighbourhood,” said Mr Williams.

While tourists checked into Mweya Safari Lodge in Queen Elizabeth National Park, many wanted to stay together as a group but that was an impossible venture as most of the rooms had been occupied. This forced a number of them to split into smaller groups and occupy different lodges such as Katara Safari Lodge, Engiri Lodge, Park View Safari Lodge Kyambura, and Twin Lakes Lodge, among others.
Accommodation costs for a 5-star hotel or lodge are between $200 and $400 (Shs720,000 and Shs1.44m), at the current exchange rate.

Raising Uganda’s profile
Notably, POATE is organised annually to provide an opportunity for tourism business operators to meet new clientele, market, network and discuss business. It is apparently the biggest event in Uganda’s tourism calendar.
Mr Stephen Asiimwe, the chief executive director of Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), said this year’s expo is meant to raise Uganda’s profile as a preferred destination, both domestically and regionally.
Last year’s tourism expo attracted about 30 hosted buyers and 120 exhibitors.
UTB head of marketing Edwin Muhazura said this year’s expo has attracted 80 hosted buyers from countries such as India, USA, Portugal, Germany, South Africa, Isreal, and will gather more than 200 exhibitors.

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