Pretoria: The Ugandan High Commission in South Africa has sought to bring on board the leadership of the Gauteng Tourism Board and various tour and travel companies in Gauteng Province in a bid to promote Uganda as a top destination for tourists.
Working in collaboration with Uganda Airlines the High Commission hosted a joint event aimed at fostering stronger partnerships and promote Uganda’s tourism potential.
Ambassador Paul Amoru, the High Commissioner, expressed his gratitude for the close relationship between the agencies and the High Commission in marketing Uganda as a desirable destination.
He commended their efforts in facilitating travel to and from Uganda and emphasized the integral role they play as points of contact for foreign nationals and Ugandans visiting Southern Africa for various activities, including business, trade, investment, education, family, and tourism.
The High Commissioner also pledged the High Commission’s ongoing support, including coordination with the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Uganda and the Department of Home Affairs of South Africa to facilitate visa waivers for ordinary passport holders.
Ms. Karin Matodes, CEO of Uganda Airlines Johannesburg Office, welcomed the high level of participation by critical individuals from various tour and travel companies in South Africa. She expressed her commitment to work closely with them to improve service delivery, including engaging with the headquarters in Uganda to address requests for wide body planes capable of accommodating more luggage, as requested by travelers.
The CEO of Gauteng Tourism Board expressed gratitude to Uganda Airlines and the High Commission for their collaboration in facilitating the work of tour and travel agencies. The High Commission was acknowledged for its efficient handling of visa-related matters and various concerns affecting travelers to Uganda. The Gauteng Tourism Board suggested that the High Commission explore a wide range of opportunities for promoting tourism and investment between the two countries.
Representatives from the tour and travel agencies expressed appreciation for the recognition they received from the High Commission and Uganda Airlines, including certificates of recognition. They reiterated their commitment to continue working with Uganda Airlines and the High Commission to promote Uganda as a destination. Additionally, they made an appeal to both governments to expedite the implementation of the visa waiver, which would greatly facilitate and increase travel between the two countries.
The participants also raised concerns about Uganda Airlines’ unreliable schedules and cargo capacity limitations, which have led some passengers to opt for competitor airlines.
In response, Uganda Airlines assured the participants that their concerns would be addressed. They pledged to improve communication of schedules and to work with the Uganda Airlines Board to deploy wide body planes for the Johannesburg route. Uganda Airlines also expressed the possibility of expanding flights to other provinces and regions, such as Cape Town, and discussed plans to enhance their cargo capacity.
The event highlighted the immense opportunities within Uganda’s tourism, travel, and hospitality sectors, which have the potential to bring in substantial amounts of foreign exchange for the country. To maximise these opportunities, the High Commission intends to broaden partnerships and attract more tourists to Uganda, with the support of Uganda Airlines, Gauteng Province, and tour and travel agents. Addressing the raised concerns is essential to ensure competitiveness within the region.
As Uganda continues to promote itself as a premier travel destination, the joint efforts between the Gauteng Tourism Board, tour and travel companies, and Uganda Airlines, along with the unwavering commitment of the High Commission, will undoubtedly contribute to the growth of Uganda’s tourism sector.
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