Uganda’s Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo2017 is here

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Uganda’s Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo2017 is here

Uganda's Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo2017 is here:Hosted buyers take selfies at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, Entebbe

Uganda's Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo2017 is here: Hosted buyers take selfies at the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre, Entebbe

Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo2017 is here

The tourism sector in Uganda is beaming with enthusiasm ahead of this year’s Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE) which kicked off at the weekend. Uganda’s annual tourism flag bearer event got underway with the arrival of hosted buyers and international media into the country. The event which is organized by Uganda Tourism Board will run from the 17th to 19th February 2017 at Kampala Sheraton Hotel and is expected to attract hundreds of visitors and participants from around the world.

Under the theme Tourism is everybody’s business”, this year’s Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo is bigger, and has attracted several local partners such as the Kampala Capital City Authority, Serena Hotels, Civil Aviation Authority, Uganda Wildlife Authority and Association of Uganda Tour Operators among others. The much anticipated event brings together Ugandan tour operators and their regional and international counterparts from Europe, the Americas (North & South America), Africa, Australia and Asia. A number of Business to Business (B2B) engagements for Tourism and trade have been planned between the hosted buyers and their Ugandan counterparts. Over 80 guests from over 20 countries, including Brazil, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, Australia, USA, UK, Italy, Kenya and Holland are already in the country for the event with more expected during the course of the week.

Uganda's Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo2017 is here

POATE hosted buyers on a Fly-in safari to the Northern circuit of Uganda

This will be the third time Uganda is hosting the event with the aim of strengthening our standing as tourist hub and a preferred destination both domestically and regionally. Only last month, the Rough Guides a reputable travel guide and reference publisher named Uganda 4th in their top ten travel destinations of 2017 after India, Scotland and Canada. “The small but incredibly diverse nation of Uganda remains a fascinating yet vastly underexplored destination,” the Rough Guides website wrote, placing emphasis on the country’s diversity.

Meanwhile, welcome cocktail dinner was held in honour of the visitors at the Best Western Premier Hotel in Entebbe on Monday evening and on Tuesday morning, those signed up for Familiarisation Trips departed to the various national parks. The Uganda Tourism Board designed two different itineraries, one to the southern tourism circuit which includes Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla national parks; and the other the northern circuit which covers Kidepo and Murchison Falls National parks. It hopes that these will showcase Uganda’s best known and most popular national parks to the hosted buyers and travel media personnel. After their National Park visit, all will converge to explore Jinja, East Africa’s adventure capital. In Jinja, a wide range of activities await the guests, from white water rafting to bungee jumping, horse riding to quad biking. They are also expected to visit the source of the mighty River Nile.

Uganda's Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo2017 is here

POATE hosted buyers on a game drive in Kidepo National Park (above), and below they enjoy a boat cruise in Murchison Falls before heading south in search of tree climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth and Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.

The peak of the activities will see the launch of the East African Tourism Portal and a Tourism documentary before the Rt. Hon Prime Minister of Uganda Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda officially opens the POATE2017 on the 17th of February. This will usher in more activities such as the Hosted buyers and exhibitors speed networking sessions, the ‘Tourism is Everybody’s business’ workshop moderated by East Africa Tourism Platform’s coordinator Carmen Nibigira with panelists from Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and hosts Uganda. There will also be a Minister’s Roundtable meeting moderated by the Minister of Tourism Hon. Ephraim Kamuntu, and Tourism & MICE presentations by top industry players. Thereafter, the guests will be hosted to a cocktail dinner to the sweet tunes of Uganda’s legendary, Afrigo band.

POATE2017 will close on the 19th of February with the Uganda Tourism Excellence Awards where the best industry achievers will be recognised. The Guest of Honour is expected to be the Rt. Hon Rebecca Kadaga, speaker of Parliament of Uganda.

The detailed programme for the event was released by UTB who earlier this month moved the venue from Kololo Independence Grounds to the Sheraton Kampala Hotel.


Event Date Time Venue
Hosted Buyers/media Arrival 4, 5 & 6 February Protea Entebbe, Best Western Premier
Lake Heights hotels

Hosted Buyers/Media welcome cocktail


6 February 7:30 PM Best Western Premier Hotel
Safari& Wildlife Experience:
FAM Trips for Group 1, 2 A& 2B
7 – 12 February Bwindi Impenetrable, Queen Elizabeth, Kibale Forest, Semuliki, Murchison Falls
Kidepo Valley  National Parks
Adventure experience by the Nile
White water rafting, Bungee jumping and quad Biking
13- 14 February 07:30-17:30hrs Jinja
Expo Set up days
Regional clusters,
Cultural night
Cultural Foods, drinks& dances
15 & 16 February 08:00- 18:00hrs
17:00hrs- 20:00hrs
Sheraton Kampala Hotel Gardens
Ndere Cultural Centre
Site Inspection of facilities in Kampala
Stand construction, stall setting up& space allocation
16 February 09:00- 09:30hrs
Speke Resort Munyonyo, Cassia Lodge
&Serena Lake Victoria Kigo
UTB team
Pearl Of Africa Tourism Expo 2017 Business Days
Press engagement& launch of the E. African Tourism Portal
And Tourism documentary.
Official opening of POATE2017
By Rt. Hon Prime Minister of the Republic Of Uganda
Hosted Buyers and exhibitors speed networking session- POATE2017/ UTB
‘Tourism is Everybody’s business’ Workshop
Hosted Buyers and exhibitors speed networking session- POATE2017/ UTB
(Pre-cocktail Drinks)
Opening ceremony – Dinner
17 – 19 February 09:00 – 11:00hrs
14:00 – 15:30hrs
All day
18:00- 22:00hrs
Sheraton Hotel: Victoria Ball Room
Sheraton Kampala Hotel Gardens
Victoria Room 1
Sheraton Hotel: Victoria Ball Room 2
Sheraton Hotel
Victoria Ball Room
Ministers Roundtable meeting
Tourism & MICE
18 February 10:00 – 12:00hrs
10:00 – 12:00hrs
Sheraton Hotel: Meeting Room 1
(Forest Room)
Sheraton Hotel: Victoria Ball Room
Pearl Of Africa Tourism Expo(continues)
Hosted Buyers and exhibitors speed networking session- POATE2017/ UTB
Uganda Tourism Excellence Awards Ceremony,
Dinner& performances
19 February 09:00-18:00hrs
09:30- 16:00hrs
18:00 – 22:00hrs
Sheraton Hotel: Sheraton Gardens
Victoria Ball Room1
Hosted Buyers Lounge
Sheraton Ball Room

Africa Sceneries Tours& Safaris warmly welcomes all our guests for the duration of your stay. We say Karibu! And hope you enjoy our unparalleled hospitality, abundant wildlife and scenery, and rich cultural heritage. It is because of the abundance of these attributes that Sir Winston Churchill famously referred to Uganda as ‘The Pearl Of Africa’, endearing the country to the outside world and converting every guest into a Tourism ambassador for Uganda.

For more information about Uganda, visit while you can get more information about the POATE2017 via



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