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UGANDA HOSTING CHINESE TOURISM INDUSTRY DELEGATION TO ATTRACT MORE CHINESE TOURISTS

KAMPALA,A ten-member delegation from some of China's most authoritative travel agencies are in Uganda for a 10-day familiarization trip around the country's top tourism attractions as part of efforts by the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) to tap China's huge travel market.

According to the China Tourism Research Institute, more than 117 million Chinese travel to foreign destinations each year, spending more than 104.5 billion US dollars. Of the total number, more than 10 per cent travel to Africa.

However, less than 500,000 of these tourists visit Uganda, which is still in the shadows of countries which have aggressively marketed themselves to China in the past, including Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa.

UTB senior marketing officer Safie Ali notes the board's efforts to penetrate the Chinese market in the past had been frustrated by limited funding but that things are starting to fall in place following the government's increased financial support to the sector and the UTV had embarked on a spirited drive to woo Chinese travellers to Uganda.

The bottom-line of the endeavour is to create additional jobs for Ugandans as tourism has become one of the major players in ?international commerce, says Ali. It is also one of the main income ?sources of income for many households.

Foo Gao, the president of the World Federation of Chinese Catering Industry Tourism and Hospitality Committee and leader of the Chinese delegation now in Uganda, says they are eagerly looking forward to conducting business with Ugandan counterparts during their stay in the country.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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