The Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) in conjunction with the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities, on Friday, September 11, 2020, launched a campaign dubbed ‘Take On the Pearl’, which is aimed at promoting Uganda’s domestic tourism.
According to Ms. Lilly Ajarova, the UTB Chief Executive Officer (CEO), ‘Take On the Pearl’, which is an 8-week long campaign, is aimed at boosting Uganda’s domestic tourism by encouraging Ugandans to visit all tourist centers across the country in a bid to revive Uganda’s image as one of the leading tourist destinations, being the Pearl of Africa.
While launching the campaign, Ms. Ajarova noted that ‘Take On the Pearl’ will focus on the revamping the domestic market, by highlighting and promoting some of Uganda’s prized tourist attractions and encouraging Ugandans to visit them, take pictures and share them on social media, so as to attract more tourists.
Ms. Ajarova, who launched the campaign during a virtual press conference, said that domestic tourism is one of the opportunities presented by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and that it is the first step to reviving the country’s tourism industry, saying that because of the pandemic, most tourist destinations have been inclined to look inwards by attracting Ugandans as they wait for international tourists.
Ajarova said that; “The pandemic has created an opportunity for us to look inwards and therefore travel our country. It is a delight to launch this domestic tourism campaign today as part of the efforts by the board to not only encourage domestic travel but also close the seasonality gap that has been created.”
“Furthermore, the campaign aims to both create awareness and also educate Ugandans on the various tourist spots around the country; with emphasis on What? When? How? Who? And Where to Travel,” she added.
On her part, Mrs. Doreen Katusiime, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, who was also at the presser, explained that the ‘Take On the Pearl’ campaign aims at giving Ugandans an opportunity to tour, traverse and appreciate the beauty of their country, which was so rightly named the Pearl of Africa.
Katusiime said that; “Take On the Pearl will give Ugandans the chance to be aware and know more about where they can travel to during this time. I, therefore, encourage all Ugandans to travel safely and continue to follow the tourism SOPs put in place by the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities with guidelines from the Ministry of Health.”
Commenting about the same campaign, Horreau Kakooza, who is the President of the Uganda Tourism Association (UTA), elaborated on the readiness of the private sector to welcome Ugandan tourists as they experience their beloved country during their visits to various tourist destinations.
Kakooza noted that; “Our fully-trained Safari guides are available to show hidden gems of our beautiful Uganda. The hotels are now offering discounted accommodation; the tour operators are keen to advise Ugandans on where to visit as we start on the journey to “Take on The Pearl”.
Expressing her optimism about the campaign, she added that; “I can confidently say that as tourism professionals, we await to receive Ugandans as they “Take on the Pearl” to help you understand why Uganda is “The Pearl of Africa.”
It should be noted that according to a United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) panel, who are tourism experts from around the world, domestic tourism is bound to recover faster than international tourism, hence it will be an important aspect in spurring the recovery of the tourism sector as a whole by attracting tourists to visit several destinations in the country.
This is because the panel of experts anticipates that the industry will hit the point of recovery for international demand mostly in 2021 as traveling across the globe normalizes since by then most countries are expected to have lifted travel restrictions that were announced in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Take On the Pearl Digital Challenge
It should be noted that the strategy to boost domestic tourism will also involve a Digital Challenge, which will be a competition in which domestic tourists will share pictures of all the destinations they would have visited during the time of the ‘Take On the Pearl’ campaign.
How to Participate in the Digital Activation
All tourists who intend to participate in the ‘Take On the Pearl’ Digital Challenge will be required to do the following;
- Post the contest photo on Visit Uganda social media pages every Friday.
- Ask people to respond with the name of the place and the reasons why they want to visit that place, for a chance to win the trip.
- People get their friends and family to come and like their comments.
- The correct comment with the highest likes by Tuesday of the following week is selected as the week’s winner.
Ajarova revealed that there will be 2 winners per week for 8 weeks, making a total of 16 winners.
She revealed that the winners will be announced at the beginning of the week and shall make the trip to their favorite destination over the weekend, which is Friday to Sunday.
It should however be noted that although UTB will not directly award the 2 winners, they will stand a chance to win lots of giveaways, discounted accommodation, and travel packages rates from sponsors such that they can enjoy memorable moments wherever they go during the course of the 8-week campaign.