A New Dawn for Uganda’s Tourism as a New Destination Brand is Launched

KAMPALA, UGANDA: As the world starts to recover from the effects of the pandemic and opening up borders and skies to global tourism, Uganda, has refreshed its tourism destination brand promise, with the unveiling of a new brand identity that will showcase an adventure of a lifetime to global visitors.

The new brand— Explore Uganda, The Pearl of Africa, developed by Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), Uganda’s tourism marketing and regulatory agency draws upon Uganda’s global reputation as one of the most endowed destinations, famous for its thousands of plant and wildlife attractions, as well as vast and beautiful landscapes, temperate climate, warm people, and cultural diversity.

The brand identity— Explore Uganda, The Pearl of Africa, was unveiled on Friday, 21st January 2022, by the country's president, H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at the Kololo Ceremonial Grounds in Kampala, Uganda’s capital city.

Speaking at the launch, President Museveni urged the world to Explore Uganda, The Pearl of Africa to see the uniqueness of her attractions guaranteeing a better experience and higher return on investment. He particularly extolled Uganda’s unique terrain, which made the country a “roof of Africa” where Lake Victoria sits, giving birth to the Mighty River Nile that flows through various Ugandan lakes on its way to Alexandria in Egypt.

He also highlighted Uganda’s abundant vegetation, temperate climate, variety of wildlife, strategic location on the Equator, cultural diversity, community tourism, peace and security, among others.

President Museveni said “Uganda’s unique place in anthropogeny as the birthplace of humankind should be studied, documented and sold as a tourist attraction” Mr. Museveni welcomed the new brand promise and recognized Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) for the imaginative repackaging of Uganda’s tourism value proposition. “Uganda is a very nice place, but it needed a group to talk about it; to inform the world,” he said adding: “I am very happy with the new group headed by our daughter Ajarova…. I salute that group. You can see they are putting a lot of imagination into what they are doing.”

The Uganda Tourism Board Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Lilly Ajarova said “the new brand promise seeks to re-emphasise Uganda’s rare and precious range of tourism attractions to the world, thereby earning destination Uganda competitive market share. Uganda is no doubt beautiful. Beautiful beyond measure. Everyone knew that Uganda is and has always been the Pearl of Africa, - but there was a lack of clarity and consistency on, if Uganda is the Pearl of Africa- what pearls does it have to offer for each of the various travel segments and preferences. She continued “To win the marketplace; to achieve our Number One objective of “Sustainably Promoting Uganda as a Competitive Tourism Destination for Inclusive Development” it is therefore important that all stakeholders are aligned on what makes us the Pearl of Africa and how do we unpack that to the various travel markets/segments around the world.”

“Explore, Uganda the Pearl of Africa is an invitation to our tourists- both domestic, regional and international to rediscover the magnificence of the Pearl. We are promising and inviting them to Explore Uganda, The Pearl of Africa, for ADVENTURE OF THEIR LIFETIME,” she said.

Before the new brand, there were a number of campaigns by various stakeholders, most of which were built around “Visit Uganda” as a call to action, something that Ajarova says did not appropriately capture the uniqueness of Uganda’s attractions. “If you think about it, when you invite someone to visit you, you are simply asking them to check on you, maybe for a few days. But an invitation to EXPLORE is really about inviting someone to indulge themselves. To spoil themselves; to delve into; to deep-dive; to discover and rediscover- the depth, range and variety of attractions in the pearl,” Ms Ajarova further explained.

REBUILDNG, RESTARTING TOURISM AND POSITIONING UGANDA AS THE MOST COMPETITIVE DESTINATION IN AFRICA

The rebranding is an essential component of UTB’s Strategic Plan that seeks to “Sustainably Promote Uganda as a Competitive Tourism Destination for Inclusive Development” with a strategic goal to “sustainably increase the volume and value of tourism in Uganda.”

Under this plan, UTB is pursuing 5 major objectives, namely:

  • To Increase Tourist Arrivals
  • To Increase Investment and Job Creation in The Tourism Sector
  • Increase The Competitiveness of the Tourism Destination
  • To Improve Collection and Access to Tourism Information
  • To Improve Internal Efficiency and Effectiveness

From the above objectives, UTB, expects, by 2024/25 to work with all stakeholders to restart, rebuild and deliver to market tourism experiences that will help Uganda to:

  • Recover from the impact of the pandemic that saw us lose up to USD1 billion in revenue in 2020, reach the pre-pandemic levels of USD 1.45 billion and grow that further to USD 1.862 billion
  • Recover the contribution of tourism to total employment at 667,600 people (6.3% of total employment)
  • Increase inbound tourism revenues per visitor from USD1,036 to USD1,500
  • Recover the average number of International Tourist arrivals from the U.S, Europe, Middle East, China and Japan at 225,300 tourists
  • Increase the proportion of leisure to total tourists from 20.1% to 30%
  • Increase the number of direct flight routes to Europe and Asia from 6 to 30

ABOUT UGANDA TOURISM BOARD

“Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) is a statutory organisation established in 1994 mandated to promote and market Uganda domestically, across the region and internationally, promote quality assurance in tourist facilities through training, grading and classification, promote tourism investment, support and act as liaison for the private sector in tourism development. The broader goals of the Board are to increase the contribution of tourism earnings and GDP; improve Uganda's competitiveness as an international tourism destination; and increase Uganda's share of Africa's and World tourism market. UTB aims to create inclusive opportunities for the tourism sector through market transformation.

To view the full press release, please visit; www.utb.go.ug

Live coverage of the launch - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghfrqi6e0Uk

For more information, please contact Andy Price, Account Director at APrice@aviareps.com