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Thursday, 29th March 2018
Mr. Stephen Asiimwe, CEO, Uganda Tourism Board, making a Uganda Country presentation to the staff of the Embassy.
Mr. Stephen Asiimwe, Chief Executive Officer, Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), has pledged to work closely with the Uganda Embassy in Berlin, Germany to attract tourists to Uganda. Germany is the second highest provider of tourists from Europe to Uganda. 

Mr. Asiimwe made this pledge while making a Uganda Country presentation to the staff of the Embassy, a day after the end of ITB Berlin 2018 where Uganda had emerged as 5th Best Exhibitor in the African Category. Uganda's participation at this travel expo, that ran from 7th -11th March 2018, was organized and facilitated by the UTB and the Embassy.

The presentation, dubbed "Destination Uganda," covered a number of important areas that will equip the staff of the Embassy with the necessary skills required to market Uganda's tourism potential as well as that of the other East African States. Tourism is Uganda's number one foreign exchange earner, contributing about 10% of the country's GDP and 23% of her exports. It is also one of biggest employers in the country.

Mr. Assimwe pointed out a number of Uganda's pristine destinations which are a must see by visitors to Uganda. These include Kigezi in Southwest Uganda referred to as 'Switzerland of Africa' because of its scenic landscapes and weather. He added that the Virunga volcanoes in south-western Uganda were voted 'A must see place in one's life time' by Lonely Planet in 2012. He said that the Rwenzori Ranges, which are the 3rd, 4th, and 5th highest peaks in Africa, were voted among top hiking places in the world. The Rwenzori, at 5,109 metres above sea level, is permanently snow-capped, a rare global condition on the Equator. Uganda is home to the source of the longest river in the world - The Nile!

Uganda has the largest mountain gorilla population in the world (over 400 of them). Less than 700 gorillas survive in the world today. There are over 5,000 chimpanzees found in Kibale forest (western Uganda). Uganda is home to the world's largest number of monkeys, baboons, apes, rare Columbus, nocturnal Bush babies and Pottos found in pristine eco-environment.

"This is where Uganda has a great advantage, which no other country in the region can compare with," said Asiimwe. "We have diverse cultures that you will literary find a new experience every 100 kms in any direction in Uganda. Our tour operators and local governments should exploit these opportunities to grow local economies and development."

The Embassy staff on their part pledged to work towards promoting Uganda as an attractive and sustainable tourist destination. The Embassy promised to source for scholarships for courses relevant to the tourism sector and to encourage potential investors, in its areas of accreditation, to consider investing in the tourism sector. 

The Uganda Embassy in Berlin is accredited to the Federal Republic of Germany as well as Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, The Vatican, Slovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania, that are represented on non-residential basis and with the United Nations Agencies in Bonn and Vienna.

The Embassy's main focus is the promotion of commercial diplomacy (trade, inward investment, tourism, and country image through supporting trade missions, establishing and facilitating contacts between business entities) in line with Uganda's Vision 2040 development plan.

Source: Uganda Embassy, Berlin