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Uganda: Tourism Sees Gains From Barcelona Visit
Uganda Tourism Board CEO Stephen Asiimwe has said they are starting to reap dividends from last December's visit of former players of Spain's Barcelona football club. UTB, with support from President Museveni, spent at least 70,000 Euros to host the "Barcelona legends," who were here to tour, promote sports and to become Uganda's tourism ambassadors in Spain.
The legends' visit was widely covered by Ugandan and Spanish media. And last week, UTB officials, led by Asiimwe, hosted a 45-man contingent from A.E Ramassa football club from Spain's fourth division. A.E Ramassa players and supporters arrived last week from Catalonia, with each individual expected to spend $3,500 on the trip.
Asiimwe spoke at Ndere Cultural centre in Ntinda, where UTB had invited the tourists to enjoy Ndere Troupe's rich menu of African dances. The excited tourists clapped, ululated, and took pictures as the graceful dancers wriggled and gyrated. In the evening of the performances, some of the Spaniards jumped onto the stage to give the audience some awesome Afro-Spanish dance strokes.
According to Asiimwe, UTB has introduced a strategy of sports tourism, where they invite foreigners to engage in sports and tour the country. The board also hopes that local sports activities such as the forthcoming source of the Nile run will help promote domestic tourism.
The A.E Ramassa team has already visited places like Zziwa sanctuary, Kidepo national park and Murchison Falls national park. They were scheduled to visit Masaka for community outreach, where they were to donate 700 kilos of scholastic materials.
The team jetted in with both a Catalonia Television and radio crew to document their stay in Uganda. According to UTB, another team from Spain is expected in December. The board also expects to seal a deal with Air Europa for ferrying of Spanish tourists to Uganda.