Minister Butime says UTB Cinema Awards boost Uganda’s image as a top tourist destination

The Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) on Friday officially handed over three International Tourism Film Awards to Tom Butime, Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities in a colorful ceremony held at the hotel. Kampala Sheraton.

The Minister was accompanied by Mr. Basil Ajer, Director of Tourism, and other senior officials from the Ministry of Tourism.

The awards were presented by the Chairman of the UTB Board, Hon. Daudi Migereko, in the presence of UTB board members, CEO Lilly Ajarova and UTB senior management.

The three International Tourist Film Awards were presented earlier this month at a prestigious ceremony held at the City Hall in Cape Town, South Africa.

Uganda was crowned this year’s Grand Prize winner and twice Gold Award winner by the Africa International Tourism Film Festival for its film; Explore Uganda – The Pearl of Africa.

In his remarks, Hon. Butime said: ”I recognize everyone’s efforts that have enabled us to win these accolades. These awards are a recognition of our ability to exercise our brains as a country. Through this, we demonstrated our creativity to the world in producing the video showcasing Uganda’s tourist attractions.

“I congratulate the Ministry of Tourism, the board of directors and the management of the UTB for this achievement. With that, I’m beginning to think we live in interesting times considering the accolades as these amplify the country’s image around the world as a top tourist destination. For an organization to be proud of its work, you need to have trophies and accolades like the ones Uganda won.

In his address, UTB Chairman, Hon. Daudi Migereko, highlighted that the awards are a major achievement for Uganda, coming a few months after the launch of the country’s new destination brand.

On January 21, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni endorsed and launched the country’s new destination brand.

Migereko noted that the awards are crucial in positioning Uganda as a major tourist destination in light of recovery efforts led by the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities.

He also appreciated Ugandans for supporting domestic tourism, especially in the post-Covid period.

Migereko said the country, especially the private sector, must invest and be ready to handle the expected increase in tourist numbers.

UTB CEO Ajarova in her speech applauded LOOKOUT Films who shot the video which was recognized by the jury.

She said it described Uganda’s incredible film production talent including; Screenwriters, Directors and Producers.

As a result of this great success, new destination brand Explore Uganda online statistics show 526 million impressions on Explore Uganda – The Pearl of Africa branded handles, 18 million views on Google display banner and 381 clicks, while the YouTube video has 1.6 million views with 9 million impressions and 378,418 engagements.

The film, premiered by UTB, is an invitation to the world to rediscover the beauty of Uganda, the pearl of Africa, which highlights the reel of all that is rare, precious and beautiful in Africa for a adventure of a lifetime.

The International Tourism Film Festival (ITFF) Africa Awards are among the leading film festivals in the world and the only one in Africa along with other circuits such as; the New York Film Festival (USA), the Cannes Film Festival in France, the Terres Travel Festival in Tortosa in Spain and the Amorgos Tourism Film Festival in Greece.

The awards aim to recognize outstanding and innovative video content related to the tourism and travel industry, accessible on all continents and able to be viewed and used on various platforms.

The film, which is now part of the Ugandan country’s renewed destination brand identity, seeks to boost arrivals to the destination as the global travel industry recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic.

UTB is working with all stakeholders, especially the private sector, to rebuild and restart the sector as the global tourism and travel industry recovers.

The new brand is underpinned by a call to action for travelers to experience the true essence of what Uganda has to offer the world.

Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in Uganda, earning the country over US$1.6 billion in 2019 and accounting for 7.7% of the national GDP.

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