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Buganda Kingdom wows with Kasubi tombs exhibition at Pearl Africa Tourism Expo

Buganda Heritage and Tourism Board showcases the Kasubi royal tombs

Buganda Heritage and Tourism Board showcases the Kasubi royal tombs

As the curtains closed on the eighth edition of the Pearl Of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE) that took place at Speke Resort Munyonyo last week, Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), in partnership with the Belgian Development Agency (Enabel), held the Sustainability awards where exhibitors who showcased sustainable tourism operations were recognised.

Under the theme “Responsible tourism”, POATE 2024 sought to showcase Uganda’s captivating tourism offerings while promoting sustainable practices. Sustainable tourism is tourism that meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future.

The awards were presented in four categories; Best sustainable stand, Best hospitality, Best innovation and Overall best. The panel of judges from the academia, private sector and international development partners with knowledge about sustainable tourism followed key elements to determine the winners; design and construction material used on the stand in relation to sustainability, general impression and communication at the stand, product offer, energy and waste management, conservation and adoption to technology, all counted.

At the end of the night, Kara Tunga Arts and Tours won Best sustainable stand, Mucha Lodge emerged as the best in hospitality, Good Glass won Best innovation while Buganda Heritage and Tourism Board walked away as the Best Overall Exhibitor.

Kara Tunga Arts and Tours won the best sustainability booth
Kara Tunga Arts and Tours won the best sustainability booth

Albert Kasozi, the CEO of Buganda Heritage and Tourism Board, said their exhibition of the Kasubi Royal Tombs must have impressed the judges.

“People have spent 13 years demanding for the tombs to be reopened and so, we decided to showcase them to remind everyone what they look like.  We made a booth showcasing the most important elements of the tombs including bark cloth, reeds and thatching grass. We basically brought the tombs to the Convention Centre and everyone was impressed,’’ he said.

This is the eighth time Buganda is showcasing at POATE and according to Kasozi, this year’s expo has been the best yet especially with the new convention centre that provided a suitable venue for the exhibitors to set up more organized stands.

Other tourism companies recognised for their sustainable tourism efforts included Exclusive Uganda Safari, Maleng Travel, Miika Eco Resort, Karamoja Safari Camp, Morungole Eco Camp, Acholi Culinary Experience, Acholi Home Stay, Ruhija Community Rest Camp, Bush Pig Backpackers, Muhavura Cultural Experience and Raft Centre.

Lilly Ajarova, CEO of UTB, noted that the exchange of ideas and best practices, establishment of new partnerships and the enthusiasm and passion displayed by everyone at this year’s expo have set the stage for a prosperous future for Uganda’s tourism sector, reaffirming their belief in the potential of Uganda as a top-tier tourism destination.

“As we bring this expo to a close, let us carry forward the momentum we have generated here. Let us continue to work together to innovate, promote and elevate Uganda’s tourism sector. The journey ahead is filled with opportunities and I am confident that with our collective efforts, we will achieve new heights and make Uganda a mass travel and visit destination for explorers around the world,” she said.

The closing ceremony of the three-day expo, which was held at the Sunset Restaurant of the convention centre, saw hosted tourism buyers, tour operators and tourism development partners treated to a sumptuous dinner and entertainment from Myko Ouma and the All Star band, rapper Navio and Sheebah.


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