East Africa Tourism Platform recognized at awards ceremony in Spain
East Africa has again proven its charm as a preferred tourism destination after emerging first runner-up at the 12th UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism.
The (UNWTO) award recognizes initiatives that are highly innovative and managed by a public or public-private institution that reflects tangible and sustainable improvements in policy, processes, and governance. EATP won for its multi-destination knowledge management tool that helps stakeholders package tourism products without borders.
EATP is made up of tourism players from the East Africa region among them Uganda Tourism Board, Burundi National Tourism Office, Kenya Tourism Board, Rwanda Development Board, and the Tanzania Tourist Board.
“We are one people, but with a rich cultural diversity that needs to be tapped and harnessed for the benefit of developing tourism and our economies at large,” said Carmen Nibigira, the EATP Regional Coordinator, after receiving the award on behalf of the five East African countries.
“Through this tool, regional tourism stakeholders have started trading each other’s products, packaging tourism products without borders, bench-marking among themselves and learning from each other,” added Ms. Nibigira.
“EATP was very instrumental in advocating for East Africa’s single tourist visa which is now used between Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda,” says Stephen Asiimwe, the CEO of the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB).
He added that through the same platform the three nations now allow their citizens to use national IDs as travel documents for citizens, free movement of tourism services, and joint marketing initiatives which run alongside the national marketing efforts.
Mr. Asiimwe says that on the marketing front, East Africa is now holding joint marketing initiatives, with the first for 2016 being the ITB Berlin tourism expo that runs from March 9-13 in Berlin Germany. At least 18 Uganda tour operators and organizations will be attending the expo this year.
About the Uganda Tourism Board
While in Uganda, you could also visit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park ( www.bwindiforestnationalpark.com/ ) in Uganda home of the endangered mountain gorilla, spend a night on the shores of Lake Bunyonyi ( http://notwithoutmypassport.com/lake-bunyonyi-uganda/ ), the second deepest lake in Africa, visit Queen Elizabeth National Park ( www.queenelizabethnationalpark.com/ ) where over 640 bird species have been recorded. Further north, you can go to the Murchison Falls National Park where the mighty Nile squeezes through a narrow gorge, only 7 meters (23 feet) wide, before plunging 43 meters (141 feet) below. If you are into fishing, the River Nile is a great area for sport fishing. Still north you can enjoy the hidden gem of Kidepo Valley National Park ( www.ugandawildlife.org/explore-our-parks/parks-by-name-a-z/kidepo-valley-national-park ).
Away from the wild, you can enjoy the vibrant life of Kampala ( http://theeye.co.ug/ ) – the entertainment city of East Africa that never goes to sleep. Going East, you can travel to Jinja, the adventure capital of East Africa ( www.atadventures.com/Jinja-Bujagali-adventure.html ) where the Nile begins its journey to Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea. The ashes of Gandhi, the great leader of India, were sprinkled at the source of the Nile in Jinja where they too began their journey to the rest of the world.
Not far from the airport, join the party at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre and get the opportunity to feed the animals. Or take a speed boat to Ngamba Island to meet one the chimps of the 100-acre island. Get close up with the chimps at their meal time. If you have time on you before your flight, go fishing (catch and let go) with the Ngamba team before taking your speed boat back and checking in.
Wherever you go in Uganda, you are sure to enjoy the best of the people—with 56 languages and dialects, you will sample as many cultures, foods, lifestyles – all linked by the smile and warmth that defines the people of Uganda. It is a nation that bring together all peoples and probably that is why Mahatma Ghandi’s ashes were sent to the world from here at the source of the Nile.
MEDIA CONTACT: Vincent Mugaba, Head of Public Relations, Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), Plot 42 Windsor Crescent, Kolol, P.O. Box 7211 Kampala, Uganda, Tel: +256 (0) 414 342 196/7, Fax: +256 (0) 414 342 188, Mob: +256 (0) 772 403 330, E: firstname.lastname@example.org