East Africa


Kampala, Uganda – 27 November 2019…

As part of its objectives to establish Uganda as a premier tourist destination, the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has officially launched the 5th annual Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE 2020). POATE 2020 will integrate a business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) trade event format under the theme “Inspiring high value engagement to promote intra-Africa travel for leisure, business and adventure”, aimed at raising Uganda’s profile as a preferred destination in the region and internationally.

Hon. Godfrey Kiwanda Ssubi, State Minister for Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities, while launching the event, noted the board’s focus on Intra-Africa travel. “Tourism has long been advocated as an alternative strategy for economic development and social reconstruction. The focus on Intra-Africa travel during this expo and beyond is aimed to increase the number of African arrivals to Uganda. With the revival of the Uganda Airlines, regional connectivity is easier and this among others will allow for intra- Africa travel to thrive.” He said.

UTB Board Chairman, Hon. Daudi Migereko noted that POATE was a strategic avenue to market and promote the country to a group of select hosted buyers in a broader goal to increase tourist arrivals to Uganda as per the UTB strategic plan. “Trade expos have been to drive high value engagement and the focus on Africa is timely for Uganda given the recent interest of travellers on the continent.

Also speaking at the event, UTB CEO, Lilly Ajarova, stated that POATE is one of the key strategies for the promotion of Uganda’s tourism in the region and across the world. The expo facilitates key linkages through hosted buyers between tourists and our domestic tour operators. Furthermore, it allows Uganda to showcase directly to various groups of hosted buyers who play a key role in the increment of visitor arrivals.

“On a weeklong FAM trip, we shall host and showcase to hosted buyers to some of Uganda’s unique experiences and gems and ensure a rich and memorable experience so they get a hands-on sense of Uganda as a tourist destination. Hosted buyers will include tour agents, travel media, hoteliers; among others and over 70 hosted buyers are expected from Uganda’s key source markets such as Africa, North America, Canada, UK, Germany, Switzerland, among others,” Ajarova noted.

The first two days of the event will constitute seminars and workshops, B2B meetings and conferences while the last day will be open to the public for B2C engagements between the public and attending exhibitors and hosted buyers.

Commenting on the same, Pearl Horeau, the President of the Uganda Tourism Association said that the expo will present an exciting opportunity for tourism private sector to network and develop their tourism and travel business directly.

“As private sector, we are positive about the potential business that POATE will bring to Uganda. The focus on the African market is a step in the right direction as the continent provides a number of opportunities for intra-travel trade evidenced by the number of African tourist coming to Uganda and other countries.” Horeau said.

The Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo is a tourism and travel trade exhibition which brings together regional and international tour operators, travel agents, destination agencies and various players in the tourism trade to network and facilitate tourism business. The three day expo will run from 4-6 February 2020 and will be held at the Speke Resort in Munyonyo.

Uganda tourist arrivals at a glance 2019

In terms of arrivals, Uganda’s international tourism performance in 2018 was above the rate of continental and global tourism growth. Tourists from international air accounted for approximately 31% of the total international tourist arrivals to Uganda in 2018, growing by 10.2% compared to the previous year. Growth was recorded from Europe (+13.8%), the Americas (+9.2%), Asia (+10.2%) and the Middle East (+9.7%) in 2018. African land markets (regional and neighboring countries) that entered Uganda by road make up 69% of Uganda’s international arrivals, and grew by 6.1% in 2018.

The biggest number of tourist arrivals to Uganda in 2018 was from Africa. The top ten sources of tourist arrivals into Uganda made up about 82 per cent of the total arrivals. Kenya and Rwanda combined to provide 55 percent of all tourist arrivals in 2018. The other top ten markets were Tanzania (7%), United States of America (4%), Dem. Republic of Congo (3%), Burundi (3%), South Sudan (3%), India (3%), United Kingdom (2%), and South Africa (2%).Uganda witnessed a 7.4% increase in international tourist arrivals in 2018, growing from 1,402,409 in 2017 to 1,506,669 in 2018. Direct revenue from international tourism rose to US$1.6 billion in 2018, compared to US$1.453 billion in 2017.

Five months before the biggest and most opinion building Tourism fair in East Africa, KARIBU-KILIFAIR kicks off, organisers have announced the sales of over 250+ stands to the most well-known and innovative tourism stakeholders. With a total exhibition area of 35,000 sqm KARIBU-KILIFAIR has underlined its position of being East Africa’s largest Tourism event. According to the organisers, plans are underway to bring 470+ exhibitors and more than 600 buyers from all over the world, with newly created networking events and the most amazing stage shows that will make the 6th edition of KARIBU-KILIFAIR #KKF2020 the most spectacular one ever.

In a related development, the organisers also announce sponsorship deals with some companies. DPO Online Payment services, with headquarter in Nairobi, Kenya and branch offices in over 16 African countries, featuring the biggest network of its kind, has once again signed up as the “Platinum Sponsor” of KARIBU-KILIFAIR 2020. DPO’s highly secure payment platform makes your stand payment and all other payments simple by allowing businesses to accept credit cards, mobile payments, and cross-border payments.

Also, Moshi based Helicopter company “KSAR” has recently joined the elite group of KARIBU-KILIFAIR Gold Sponsors. The company operates helicopter rescue services at Mt. Kilimanjaro and beyond, as well as unforgettable scenic flight in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar. During KARIBU-KILIFAIR 2020 two KSAR Helicopters will provide free scenic flights (upon availability) and demonstrate live evacuation services.

The 6th edition of KARIBU-KILIFAIR will be held from June 5-7, 2020 at TGT, Arusha.

November 11, 2019 Dar es Salaam.

It is with great pleasure that Mikono Expo Group would like to announce that EATHE 2020 has broken the record by having the highest number of Buyers in East Africa Expo scheduled for January 2020. Exhibitors are coming in from Kenya,Uganda,Rwanda,South Africa,Namibia,Dubai,Zanzibar and Tanzania mainline and Island .

Statistics have been done for our registered exhibitors and so far 250 companies are registered making the expo 2nd biggest in the number of exhibitors in East Africa, the number is expected to reach a maximum of 470 as other companies are yet to confirm and others still registering.

Confirmed Buyers are coming from key Market Europe (Poland,Russia,German Sweden, France),America (Canada and USA) ,Mediterranean (Lebanon,Israel,Italy ,Asia Pacific ocean (Hongkong,China and Singapore and Africa (South Africa,Nambia,Uganda,Zanzibar,Kenya ,Mauritius, Seychelles ,Ethiopia,DRC Congo, Central African Republican ,Djibouti and other 15 countries, to bring in new business to Africa, this information has been gathered from statistics of the registered buyers on our website amounting to a total of 600 so far. However buyer registration is still available.

We would also like to inform our highly esteemed buyers that Famtrip/Itinerary information will be availed to you before end of the week starting11th November.

Mikono Expo Group would like to assure our fellow associates that they will definitely meet their business expectations. Therefore we would also like to urge those still hesitant to register to register as we have a few booths remaining. You can go on our website and grab a stall or get in touch with our dedicated staff that will help you secure your stall before January 2020.

The East African Tourism & Hospitality Expo (EATHE) 2020 have broken the record for being the only tourism expo in East and Central Africa to host more than 300 outside Africa Region and 400 from African Region. This was made known in a recent press release by the organisers of the event.

According to the organisers, the record breaking feat was down to the fact that there is great partnership with key stakeholders from outside Africa and inside Africa and a great team that work tireless day and night to make sure things run smoothly. In October alone, more than 95 Buyers from outside Africa were approved.

The EATHE 2020 was earlier slated for November 2019, but had to be postponed due to the initial date clashing with local government elections in Tanzania. The event is scheduled to take place in January 24-26, 2020

Those who still wish to be a part of the expo who have not booked their stand to meet these important buyers, can do so now by contacting: Sales@mikonospeakers.com or +255717109362

Organisers of the East Africa Tourism & Hospitality Expo (EATHE) have been forced to reschedule the event due to the recent announcement by the government of Tanzania to hold local government elections in the country on November 24th 2019.

The information was made available to More Cream Than Coffee earlier today Tuesday September 24, 2019 via email. According to the mail, the government had initially fixed the dates for local government elections for October. However, two weeks ago the elections were rescheduled.

Knowing that “…it is not advisable to have an event on the election day for security reasons.” Mr. Deo Kilawe of Mikono Speakers, the organisers of the expo while offering sincere apologies for the inconveniences informed that, the new dates for the East Africa Tourism & Hospitality Expo (EATHE) 2019 will be January 24 – 26, 2020.

“Our board of directors and management have discussed with our major sponsors and exhibitors and have all agreed to reschedule this year’s event… We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience that this may have caused,We however still look forward to meeting you and your associates on the new dates.”

All indications portend that the 15th AKWAABA African Travel Market is set to become the biggest and best edition of the travel and tourism trade show as more countries have confirmed their participation. Perhaps in line with the Year of Return theme by design or coincidence, Uganda is set for a return since her last appearance in 2016, as the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) leads a team of Ugandan tour operators to showcase the country’s major tourists’ attractions.

Tagged the Pearl of Africa, Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa whose diverse landscape straddles the equator, with Lake Victoria, the second largest lake in the world, forming part of its southern border. It is from this same lake that the Nile, the world’s longest river, starts its (4,258 miles) journey at Jinja – the adrenaline capital of East Africa, 80km east Kampala.

Fantastic wildlife and some of the friendliest people in Africa make Uganda unbeatable.

According to a statement from the UTB, “Very many wonderful things have been said about Uganda by various authors and travellers who have had the chance to visit. Some talk about the charming weather, natural resources, rich culture, and history; while others talk about the lovely people whose hospitality is unmatched. Most quickly note the numerous beautiful birds, and other rare wildlife species that are only found in Uganda. All that is true but there is more!”

“Uganda is the land of martyrs in Africa. This religious story is summarized in the Uganda Martyrs Trail. The Trail is an extraordinary journey of faith that literally gets one in the footsteps of the first Christian missionaries and converts as they walked through Uganda preaching, teaching, healing and transforming lives, finally to the places of their martyrdom.”

The abundant wildlife in Uganda includes the ‘BIG 5’ – lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo. It is home to 1,072 bird species among which are some of the world’s rarest. The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for the silverbacks offers a mountain gorilla tracking life changing experience.

Reputed for its serenity, the Ssese Island on Lake Victoria, one of Uganda’s greatest and uncrowned beaches with beautiful white sands creates a perfect never-ending honeymoon experience. Finally, the capital city, Kampala is the city that never sleeps and has been dubbed the “Entertainment Capital of East Africa.”

“Uganda Day” is scheduled for Day 1, September 22, 2019 at 2:00pm. AKWAABA African Travel Market will run from September 22 to 24, 2019 at the Convention Centre of the prestigious Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Aleph Hospitality, a Dubai-based group has signed a franchise agreement with Marriott International to operate a Protea Hotel by Marriott in Kisumu, Kenya.

The hospitality company will be operating the hotel, which is due to open in January 2022, on behalf of the owner Bluewater Hotels.

Speaking about the property, Bani Haddad, founder and managing director of Aleph Hospitality said: “We are thrilled to work with Marriott International to bring the first internationally branded hotel to Kisumu, Kenya’s third largest city.”

The hotel will feature 125 rooms with lake views, three food and beverage outlets, a rooftop infinity pool, gym, spa and a meeting space.

“As the hotel owner, we benefit from the reputation and distribution of a major global brand [Marriott], coupled with the regional knowledge and expertise of Aleph Hospitality, known for its world-class approach to independent hotel management,” Edward Guda, Managing Director, Bluewater Hotels, said.

The hotel marks Aleph Hospitality’s continued expansion in Kenya, following the signing of Best Western Plus Westlands, set to open in Nairobi in Q4, 2019 and two further properties, one in Mombasa and one in Nairobi, which are both under construction.

Source: HotelierMiddleEast.com

Leading travel writer and publisher of ATC News, Prof. Wolfgang Thome, has emerged as one the winners of the African Travel 100 Global Personalities Awards scheduled to take place on September 23rd at the 15th AKWAABA African Travel Market.

Prof. Thome, a German national arrived in Kenya in the mid 1970s and has lived on the African continent since, spending over four decades. In Kenya, he was active in tour operations, hotel operations and air operations, and after 17 years he moved to Uganda in 1992. Settling in, the Pearl of Africa, he went into academics and consultancy.

He became active in trade politics helping to rebuild the association framework in the tourism industry which had all collapsed after the liberation war. He helped to reactivate the hotel association, form the tour operators association, travel agents association and the umbrella body Uganda Tourism Association, which he served as president for almost eight years.

I always felt as a welcome guest in Kenya, in Uganda I’ve become part of the furniture. …when I came to Uganda I literally became Ugandan – not maybe by passport, but certainly by the feeling in my heart that I belong here.

– Prof. Wolfgang Thome

Prof. Thome is happily married. His wife is Ugandan and they met in Kenya while she was in exile. The genial and witty professor has lived in Uganda for over 25 years and was granted life residency some time ago. We, at More Cream Than Coffee® congratulate Prof. Wolfgang Thome.

The organisers of the East African Tourism & Hospitality Expo (EATHE 2019) cordially invites tourism professionals and stakeholders to the East African Tourism and Hospitality Expo Cocktail Party scheduled for June 28, 2019.

The cocktail get-together is expected to serve as an avenue for a sharing of knowledge among true experts in various field of the tourism industry in a relaxed environment with keynote addresses to be presented by a number of tourism industry stakeholders and industry speakers from the East Africa region.

All key tourism stakeholders such as hoteliers, tour operators and many others are cordially invited to attend the event which will commence at 18:30hrs on Friday June 28 at the MaasaLand Safari and Lodge Arusha, Tanzania.

Entrance is Free!

For enquiries and RSVP kindly contact: sales@mikonospeakers.com

EATHE 2019 is an important opportunity for stakeholders in the sector to meet and discuss opportunities and common challenges at a policy level and it all kicked off at the EATHE 2019 Floor opening, which took place on 22nd March, Friday at 5h20 in the auditorium of the Four Point by Sheraton.

The opening address was by the Honourable Minister of Tourism, Dr. Hamisi Andrea Kigwangalla, Mr. Deogratius Kilawe chairman of EATHE 2019 and Leona Lemomo, the CEO of Msafiri Tours. Present were delegates from airline companies, hotels, travel companies, the Open University of Tanzania, National Tourism College, ZATI and others.

Mikono Speakers was honored to host the honorable Minister for the first time in its events. He officially launched the registration for both Buyers and Exhibitors of the 3rd edition for East Africa Tourism and Hospitality Expo. Since he took office thenumber of tourist has grown from 1.1m per annum to 1.5m and he expects the number to increase to 2 million by 2019.

During his opening remark the Minister stated that the future of tourism in Tanzania is lie on three things. First, increasing the use of Artificial Itelligence (AI), this ease the experience for travelers all the way from flight and hotel bookings to assisting the country to know the number of tourist in the country at any given time. Second, empowering local people to benefit from Tourism.The ultimate benefit reaches local people through social services and from selling local products to tourists e.g. Cultural items, food etc. Third, diversification of tourism services and products e.g. conferences and soccer.

“To increase the number of tourist in Tanzania we need to focus on bidding international events. Tourism is not about leisure only, these events bring a lot of tourist at par. South Korea has been doing well in tourism because they bid number of events around the world and so far they control 30% of majors events and this is the main reason they have number of tourist in their country.” Said Deogratius Kilawe, Chairman of EATHE 2019.

Leona Lemomo the CEO of MSafiri travels who has been in the industry for over ten years added that “the major challenge facing the industry that needs to be solved will boost the growth of the industry in the Country is to open the Southern circuit to increase accessibility to local and international tourists.

According to the 2018 BMI report on Tourism in Tanzania, the industry is playing an increasingly important role in the global economy, contributing 5% of gross domestic product (GDP), 30 percent of service exports, and 235 million jobs. Indeed, each year, approximately 1 billion people travel internationally. By 2030, consumer spending on tourism, hospitality, and recreation in Africa is projected to reach about $261.77 billion, $137.87 billion more than in 2015.

From 1998 to 2015, service exports, including of “industries without smokestacks” such as tourism, have grown about six times faster than merchandise exports in Africa. Africa’s travel and tourism industry continues to record impressive growth over the years. In 2017, the continent hit a 63 million high in international tourist arrivals as compared to 58 M in 2016 (+ 9% vs 2016).

Africa’s share of international tourist arrivals is 5%. Europe’s share is 51%, Asia and the Pacific 24%, Americas 16% and the Middle East 4% respectively. Results were driven by the continued recovery in Tunisia and Morocco and strong performance in Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritius and Zimbabwe. Island destinations Seychelles, Cape Verde and Reunion recorded double-digit growth in arrivals.

The African economy has been gaining momentum, with the real output growth estimated to have increased by 3.8% in 2017 and expected to reach 4.1% by 2018/2019. Travel and tourism contributed a total of 8.1% to Africa’s GDP (USD 177.6 bn) in 2017. This percentage is expected to rise by 3.7% (to reach 12%) in 2018. Moreover, the direct contribution to the GDP stood at 3.3% in 2017.

The industry is also a major employer in the continent, supporting over 22 million jobs in 2017, approximately 6.5% of total employment. These include jobs directly & indirectly supported by the industry, and are expected to rise by 3.1% in 2018 to 23 million jobs.

Rise of international hotel brands is a key factor in the growth of the hospitality industry. Pipeline activity of 76,322 rooms in 418 hotels (with over 100 brands across Africa) have been reported in 2018. Of these, 47,679 rooms in 298 hotels are in Sub Saharan Africa, while North Africa recorded 28,643 rooms in 120 hotels.

In 2016, around 670 hotels and establishments were present in Tanzania, and we forecast robust growth in hotel numbers in the medium-to-long term, with the number of hotels and establishments expected to reach 830 in 2021.

Total overnight stays are expected to increase by 6.9% in 2017, reaching 14.0mn, with steady growth expected through to 2021. The average length of stay will remain stable, at around 9.6 nights, throughout the forecast period.

“We expect 2019 to have more than 2 Million tourists. Tanzania and Africa is vibrant melting pot for tourism: the diverse cultures, customs and traditions of our people, merged with the endless variety of our landscapes, blended with our unique biodiversity, tempered by our historical legacy, and fired by the spirit of freedom and equality, ” said the Minister.

However, he noted that if we are to be successful, everyone needs to pay more attention to the image and reputation of East Africa. “Not only through effective marketing, but by putting on a really great show when tourists arrive like Urithi Festival which is very important to give experience to tourists. Their word of mouth will do marketing for us and using social media begins the minute they arrive on our shores.”

The Minister adds that the East Africa Tourism and Hospitality Expo 2019 provides the ideal platform for African countries to work together. “A successful EATHE 2019 contributes to the success of tourism in all countries.”

Mr Kilawe added that, “Kilimanjaro is honored and privileged to host the Continent’s biggest tourism event in Africa. EATHE 2019 allows Kilimanjaro to be competitive in the tourism sector and brings the city a direct Tsh 2 billion revenue and an indirect longer term income of Tsh 50 Billion.”

East Africa Tourism and Hospitality Expo 2019 will have 2,300 meetings from 22nd – 24th November 2019, 400 exhibitors, 700 buyers and 144 media. Owned by Mikono Speaker, East Africa Tourism and Hospitality Expo 2019 is one of the largest tourism marketing events on the African calendar and showcases the widest variety of Africa’s best tourism products and services.

The event attracts quality buyers from across South Africa, the African continent and the world and is co-located with World Embassy Festival 2019, Kilimanjaro Festival 2019 and Africa Food and Drink Expo 2019. EATHE 2019 will impart key stakeholders with realistic strategic plans that will play a major role in shaping the future of tourism in Tanzania.