On Monday UTB continued its intensive tourism marketing campaigns by working together with Marasa to host a team of German journalists for dinner in Entebbe. The goal was to ensure that the right people with the right knowledge about Uganda be the ones to explain or describe the destination to potential tourists. Professional journalists definitely qualify as the right people. The team of journalists was brought KPRN a, a German destination marketing firm and led by Hanna Kleber, its Chief executive.
Tourism promoters today have discovered that destination marketing through specialised marketing teams is quite effective and is what UTB is trying to accomplish. Specialized marketing teams help build trusts and then professionally link up tour operators with their counter parts from the other potential markets.
Germany is perhaps the most stable economy in Europe right now, having survived the economic meltdown of the past four years with much less damage to its economy than most European countries. Which, according to Hanna Kleber, means that Germans have a ot of money, and they are willing to spend. A Uganda safari seems like the perfect way to spend such money.
The German journalists travelled across the country visiting various tourist sites such as the Bwindi impenetrable forest for gorilla trekking, queen Elizabeth national park and were very impressed with what they saw. Some of them had come with many misconceptions and myths about Uganda, mostly fuelled by the stories from the Idi Amin era. But their attitudes and perceptions were quickly changed after they saw firsthand what Uganda has to offer as an Africa safari destination.
Kleber for example throughout all her travels in Africa had never seen tree climbing lions and yet these are a common sight in Queen Elizabeth national Park.
Freddy Langer, one of the German journalists said that the nature of gorillas in Uganda stand out, and Uganda is a unique spot on the map.
According to Kleber, destination marketeers have supported a number of markets including South Africa which resulted in a 14% increase in the number of German tourists travelling to the countries. “It is important to get the consumer on the one side and then the trade on the other hand and march them,” noted Kleber.
In the case of Uganda, the destination marketing strategy will focus on a few tourism products that are unique to Uganda, such as Gorilla trekking, White water rafting on the Nile, the source of the River Nile and the Rwenzori mountain ranges.
Uganda Tourism Board is especially hoping that Government comes through with its promise of Shs. 5bn to help step up its marketing efforts.