By Our Reporter
Uganda has been ranked the sixth most popular destination in Africa for hosting international conferences and events in the 2019 statistics report released by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). ICCA represents the world’s leading association for the global meetings, conference and events industry.
According to the UTB CEO, Lilly Ajarova, Uganda in 2019 hosted 22 association meetings including the 64th Commonwealth Parliamentarians Conference, 8th African Population Conference, Africa Now Summit, 4th African Judicial Dialogue and the 2nd Congress of the African Primatological Conference; among others all which attracted a variance of domestic, regional and international visitors and contributed to the rankings that currently place Uganda as a top Meeting and Events destination in Africa.
“In 2020, Uganda had organised and was scheduled to host a number of notable conferences and meetings that had to be rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These included among others; the G77 summit, Africa Climate week, World Health Summit, CBR World Congress and the AfrAA Conference,” Ajarova explained.
She highlighted that many of these conferences have been rescheduled to take place in 2021 pending confirmation of the dates as the COVID-19 pandemic is examined and travel restrictions reviewed.
“As Uganda continues to grow its MICE industry, the next few years will see our association meetings increase as the world normalises in the post COVID era,” Ajarova concluded.
According to Forbes, Uganda’s success in taming COVID-19 has stabilized infections, making the country an ideal place for tourism to resume safely.
Uganda’s selection also owes to the fact that unlike other countries, Uganda has removed cumbersome restrictions and created vital information on infections to help inform potential travellers to Uganda.
Other countries named alongside Uganda as top tourist destinations include El Salvador, Pakistan, Ukraine, Bahamas, Panama.
International flights to Entebbe Airport resumed on October 1, about six months after the government closed airports in the wake of the pandemic.
Many countries, especially in Europe, are seeing a rise in COVID-19 case numbers once again in what has been described as a second wave, making them less inviting destinations to tourist visitors.
Entry requirements to Uganda require that visitors test negative within 72 hours and take a negative test before departure as well.
Standard operating procedures also require tourists to observe a curfew between 9pm and 6am; however, those who have a flight between those hours you are permitted to go to from the Airport.