UG Travel | Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) launches the 6th Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE 2021) & 1st Online Expo 27th – 29th April

Posted April 27, 2021 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Tour & Travel ~ 3,085 views


Tourism Board (UTB) launches the 6th Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE 2021)— the first-ever virtual tourism expo.

Welcome Remarks – UTB Chief Executive Officer- Ms Lilly Ajarova

It is my honour and pleasure to welcome you all to the 2021 Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo 2021 (POATE 21) launch.

POATE is a tourism exposition organized annually by the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB). It brings together, all of Uganda’s tourism stakeholders for the greater purpose of individually showcasing their potential to the world on one hand, and jointly, to raise the profile of Uganda as a competitive and attractive destination for domestic, regional and international tourists.

POATE is an especially important aspect of UTB’s marketing calendar, that presents an annual prized opportunity for tourism business operators in Uganda to not only meet new clients but also strengthen existing relationships with their global tourism and travel trade partners.

The 6th POATE edition will take place on 27rd-29th April 2020. 

The theme for this year’s expo is “Restarting Tourism for Inclusive Development[.”

Well aware that different players in the sector were affected variously, the key focus of POATE 2021, will be on 4 major sub-topics i.e. Recovery, Rebuilding; Reconnecting and Rebooting the sector. 

In light of the current climate in which multiple travel restrictions especially in some of our key markets, as well as the need to ensure safety for all participants, POATE 2021 will exclusively be virtual.

We have built, a specialized virtual meeting platforms that shall facilitate one-on-one meetings, virtual speed networking sessions as well as live conference sessions for domestic, regional and international tourism players.   

The virtual platform has unique abilities such as:

  1. Directory Listings: This is similar to on-stand presentations- where exhibitors will be able to showcase their products and services in a variety of multimedia formats, including video, website links and e-brochures. For easy searchability and findability, exhibitors can list their products and service categories. 
  2. 1-On-1 Meetings: The meetings function within the platform will be exclusive to buyers, media and exhibitors only, and shall allow participants to connect with the highest level of travel trade industry professionals with direct purchasing power. Participants can create their attendee profile, adding products and regions they are interested to buy from. This will make it easy for exhibitors and other participants to quickly find and match contacts that suit their business needs.
  3. Lead Generation: The virtual platform allows participants to remotely schedule individual thirty-minute video meetings and network with industry professionals. The system also allows several functionalities, such as the exchange of business cards, drawing up of draft contracts etc. 
  4. Choice Content Sessions: Participants
    will have a variety of live sessions, debates and forums from industry experts to chose from. A variety of topics from experts in key areas such as hotels, aviation, resilience, sustainability, and recovery in a post-COVID-19 world have all been lined up.

Participants for POATE 2021 will be vetted through a set of criteria that has been developed by the National organizing committee to ensure they are of the right calibre to showcase Destination Uganda’s offering.

In line with UTB’s recovery marketing strategy, hosted buyers and exhibitors will be sourced from the existing core and emerging source markets within the East African Region (Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda), rest of Africa (Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa) and the international markets (North America, UK and Ireland, Germany speaking countries, Japan, Gulf states and China and the new markets of France, Belgium
+ Netherlands).

Participating hosted
buyers will be sourced through the newly procured Market Destination
Representative firms (MDRs) following a ratio of 80:20, in favour of core markets.  

on the successes of POATE 2020 where we registered a 138% growth in exhibitors, from 63 exhibitors in 2018 to 150 exhibitors in 2020, and leveraging the power of the internet, this time we expect to attract more than 200 exhibitors.  

As we prepare for the gradual recovery of the global regional tourism sector, we believe that POATE 2021 will contribute the following:

  1. Increased Destination Awareness: POATE 2021 will enable trade visitors and exhibitors to showcase and obtain the latest information on available tourism products from Uganda and the rest of the world.
  2. Increased product knowledge: The expo will enable suppliers of tourism products to test the acceptance of these products in the post-covid-19 Ugandan market.
  3. Enhanced Tourism Service Distribution:  POATE 2021 will enable distributors of tourism products to interact with suppliers and distributors in the value chain to establish relationships necessary for business sustainability.
  4. New Business Deals and Enhanced Private Sector Development: During POATE 2021, suppliers of tourism-related services and products will close and sign business deals through travel bookings on-spot. An estimated ROI of UGX 12.2 billion is expected in the subsequent financial years.
  5. Relationship Building; POATE 2021 will present the opportunity for online networking by key stakeholders in the tourism industry; it will also provide a useful platform for stakeholders to explore co-operative exchanges and activities.  


You will all agree with me, for an industry emerging from post-Covid-19 effects—it is estimated that by December 2020, the industry had lost an estimated 1 million foreign tourists, translating into up to USD1.06 billion (UGX 3.91 trillion) in foreign exchange earnings lost, the launch of POATE21 is a stitch in time. I urge all of our tourism players to get involved as we together seek to: Recover, Rebuild; Reconnect and Reboot our tourism. 


About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.


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