Uganda On Chinese Charm Offensive

The tourist promotion agency here has started a vigorous campaign to have a sizeable number of Chinese people visit the country and enjoy its tourism attractions.

Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) last week hosted Li Jinamo the Vice President and Secretary General of the Guangdong Provincial Tourism Association to forge a way forward on how Uganda can entice Chinese holiday makers.

China has over 1.3 billion people. The Guangdong Province, where Jinamo comes from, has a population of 100 million people which is almost three times that of Uganda.

Stephen Asiimwe, the UTB Chief Executive Officer said China has the largest outbound travelers in the world.

“In the fulfillment of the key tourism objective of increasing the number of international visitors from 1.2 million in 2014 by 50% to 1.8 million in 2016, UTB together with the Uganda Consulate in Guangzhou, China participated in the China International Tourism Mart (CITM).

“During the Uganda Night organized by UTB, a raffle was held in which Mr. Li Jinamo won a ticket to Uganda courtesy of Ethiopian Airlines,” Asiimwe said.

He said they organized a familiarization trip for Jinamo to appreciate Uganda’s tourism diverse attractions.

Hopefully this would subsequently help towards attracting over 2,000 Chinese companies that subscribe to their association.

Jinamo said Uganda must work on the issue of connectivity by ensuring that the governments of China and Uganda start direct flights between China’s Guangdong province and Entebbe International Airport.

Currently, there are four airlines that connect Uganda to China.

“The tourism roads are still bad, many tourist sites in Uganda are not known to Chinese people and there is a language barrier between Uganda Tourism Board and Chinese people,” said Jinamo speaking through an interpreter.

He said the government should work on the roads and UTB must go and introduce Uganda tourism to the Chinese market.

“If possible, UTB should invite the Guangdong media to write about all the beautiful animals, scenery and friendly people in Uganda to the people of China,” he said.

Source : East African Business Week

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