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041 4342196 utb@utb.go.ug

POATE 2024 to Redefine the Narrative of Conservation With its Focus on Sustainable Tourism

The eighth edition of the Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE) organized by the Tourism Ministry and Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) is poised to be exceptionally unique, with its focus on sustainable tourism.

It will showcase a renewed commitment to safeguarding Uganda’s rich cultural heritage with a major focus on wild life habitat preservation and the ban of single-use plastics, an indicator of Uganda’s commitment to sustainable tourism.

Scheduled for May 23rd to 25th, 2024 at Commonwealth Resort Munyonyo under the theme ‘Responsible Tourism’, POATE 2024 serves as a crucial platform to showcase Uganda’s tourism potential and foster collaboration among local and international stakeholders in the tourism sector.

During the launch of this edition in November 2023 at Sheraton Hotel Kampala, Martin Mugarra, the State Minister for Tourism, highlighted the inclusive nature of the preparations, with a focus on incorporating insights from the private sector.

This approach, he said, aims to make POATE a collective responsibility and address concerns raised by stakeholders who felt excluded in the previous edition.

He highlighted that tourism and conservation work in tandem and that Uganda needs to adopt environmentally friendly practices to foster conservation and sustainability.

‘’It is important that we put out a clear message that without the environment, we wouldn’t be discussing tourism today. We are enforcing measures to support this cause and move with the global call on conservation and sustainability. In Uganda, kavera is the order of of the day which is detrimental to conservation efforts so the theme is timely as we call upon Ugandans to adhere accordingly,”

In her remarks, Lilly Ajarova, the UTB CEO underlined the agency’s ironclad commitment to promoting a version of tourism that is mindful of the preservation of the existing ecosystems, so as to allow for the flourishing of plant and animal lives alike, which heightens the country’s attractiveness.

She stressed the importance of early preparation to minimize non-biodegradable plastic usage. According to Ajarova, stringent measures, will be enforced at the venue to prohibit the entry of single-use plastic items, which will be collected at the gates and sent for recycling, reinforcing the commitment to responsible waste management.

“Through the theme ‘Responsible Tourism’ we are creating the impact of tourism on the environment, local community and culture. We are calling on people to be mindful of how their general conduct impact the mentioned aspects. We require our guests to practice proper waste management, particularly plastic waste. We are going to restrict the use of plastic at the POATE venue. We encourage use of reusable plastic not the one offs,”

Minister Mugarra applauded this decision, highlighting the integral connection between tourism and the environment, positioning Uganda as a responsible player in the sustainable tourism landscape.

Other objectives of POATE 2024 include bringing all players in the tourism and travel industry; national, regional and international to engage with each other through the business to business and business to consumer sessions.

POATE 2024 is envisioned not just as an expo but as catalyst for responsible tourism, aligning Uganda with global conservation efforts and promoting sustainable practices for a brighter, eco-conscious future.

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