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UTB trains Tour Operators on marketing Uganda to China

Kampala: As part of its efforts to market Uganda to emerging source markets, Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has trained Ugandan tour operators on how to market destination Uganda to the China source market.

The training, held in partnership with the Preferred Hospitality Group (PHG) consulting firm, Uganda’s Market Destination Representative in China was aimed at showcasing the opportunities and as well as key focus areas that are existent in the Asian nation’s outbound travel audience.

Speaking to the Tour operators who had gathered at Golden Tulip Hotel for the training, UTB Chief Executive Officer, Lilly Ajarova, said that the training would not only equip tourism stakeholders with knowledge on the needs of the Chinese tourism market, but also share valuable tips on how to gain a sizeable chunk of the rapid growth of the Chinese traveler.

“This training is one of the steps we are taking to inform our partners on the needs of the different tourism markets that we are looking to enter. We want to share how we can tap into these existing opportunities while developing specific products that meet the needs of those particular clients” Ajarova noted.

Tourism brings in valuable revenue for Uganda through the tourism value chain such as tour companies, hotels and accommodation facilities, restaurants, transporters and farmers.

UTB has been tasked to grow tourist numbers from the current 1.8m a year to 4m and also make sure that the country realizes at least 2.7b USD in term of foreign exchange earnings from the sector. The agency is optimistic that China is one of the best given that the Chinese travelers are typically big spenders, who on average spend about 7000 dollars a day during their travels.

Addressing participants, Daudi Migereko, the Chairman Board of Directors at UTB advised, “We are equipping you today so that you go out there and be good tourism ambassadors. You now know the needs of the Chinese when it comes to tourism. You therefore don’t have to wait till July when Uganda Airlines starts to function, begin today to outsource tourists from the different destinations, tell them about Uganda and interest them to come and explore the Pearl of Africa.”

He also encouraged the tour operators to learn the Chinese language so as to communicate better with their clients given that it helps bridge the language barrier gap.

Catherine Mei, the PHG Sales Director said, “The potential of the Chinese tourism market is very huge, last year alone, 500 Chinese travelled to Africa. As a consulting firm operating in China and across the world, our job is one; we have been assigned to advertise the Pearl of Africa’s beautiful destinations to China especially the rich culture, birding, gorilla tracking among others.”

This is a great undertaking for UTB to reach out to the lucrative Chinese market that experts have predicted to be the new breeding ground for urban travelers. UTB has already partnered with PHG to market Uganda in North America.

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