In continued efforts to promote Uganda as a tourist destination, the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) yesterday hosted a cultural gala for UN delegates who are in the country for the IGAD Conference currently ongoing at the Speke Resort Munyonyo.
The Gala held at the Ndere Cultural Center with attending UN delegates, government representatives and media was meant to showcase the beauty of the Pearl of Africa through cultural performances, food, cuisine and true Ugandan hospitality so as to leave a lasting memory in the minds of the delegates for repeat visits after the conference.
Speaking on behalf of the Uganda Tourism Board, the Marketing Manager, Ms. Claire Mugabi, said,“ Uganda is a culturally diverse and rich country—a key selling point for us 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.”
Commenting on the experience, Rose Malango, the UN resident coordinator extended her sincere gratitude for hosting the delegates to a delightful evening of beautifully choreographed cultural performances.
She said, “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.”
Uganda has a rich cultural diversity and is endowed 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,” Ms. Mugabi concluded.
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.
The tourism industry currently contributes 10 per cent to gross domestic product, making it Uganda’s leading foreign exchange earner. The industry contributes more than $1.4b (Shs5.1 trillion) annually and is projected to earn about Shs10 trillion ($2.7b) by 2020.