The Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) on Thursday hosted a cultural gala for UN delegates who are in the country for the IGAD Conference currently ongoing at the Speke Resort Munyonyo.
The event, according to UTB, was part of the efforts to promote Uganda as a tourist destination by showcasing the diversity in the country’s culture, food and attractions.
The Gala held at the Ndere Cultural Center was attended by UN delegates, government representatives. The UN Resident Coordinator in Uganda, Rosa Malango was also present.
During the gala, guests got an opportunity to interact with Uganda’s enchanting beauty, from cultural performances, food, cuisine and the warm hospitality that the country has come to be known for.
Government believes that through such events, it can create a lasting impression on visitors who in turn can recommend Uganda to other potential travelers.
Speaking on behalf of the Uganda Tourism Board, the Marketing Manager, Claire Mugabi said Uganda’s cultural diversity and richness is a key selling point for the country as a tourist destination.
“We wanted treat the delegates to a true Ugandan cultural experience at the Ndere Cultural Center. They enjoyed various cultural performances from different parts of Uganda, folklore, food and drink among others”.
Rosa Malango, the UN resident coordinator extended her gratitude to UTB for hosting the delegates to a delightful evening of beautifully choreographed cultural performances.
“Uganda is truly an endowed country and the cultural experience we have reveled in today highlights the country as culturally diverse and rich but more than that, we were able to see art, unity and enjoy story telling. The delegates have seen Uganda in a way many has never seen or heard about,” Malango said.
Uganda has a rich cultural diversity with 64 tribes and language each with a distinct cultural heritage, history, language, food, dance, dressing, beliefs, customs, music and folklore.
On food and cuisine, Uganda is known for its wide variety of tropical fruit and organic food, its diversity but is also its uniqueness to various cultures.
“We hope that we can see repeat visits in big numbers by engaging delegates and other visitors who come to Uganda for conferences and events,” Mugabi said.
The vast majority of tourist arrivals in Uganda are continental visitors from African countries. In 2017, these constituted 80% of the total 1,402,409 arrivals for the year while overseas visitors/tourists made up 20% or 273,731 of the arrivals.
Tourism as a sector currently contributes 10 per cent to gross domestic product, making it Uganda’s leading foreign exchange earner. The industry contributes more than $1.4bn (Shs 5.1 trillion) annually and is projected to earn about Shs 10 trillion ($2.7bn) by 2020.
Uganda Tourism Board is the government agency mandated to promote and market Uganda across the region and internationally.