By Sadiki Adams
After making world headlines with the Hollywood blockbuster Queen of Katwe, the rolled eggs commonly known as ‘rolex’, Uganda has now excelled in this year’s JATA (Japan Association of Tour Agents) Tourism expo.
The globally renowned JATA is organized by the Japan Travel and Tourism Association (JTTA) and the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) at Tokyo Big Sight in Japan.
With the support of Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), Uganda Embassy in Japan and Ethiopian Airlines, Uganda was ably represented by Oliver Crystal Safaris, Alvin Rushaga Camp & Bunyonyi Overland, Sam BIC Tours and Apollo Shoebill Safaris.
Samuel Mugisha, the Managing Director of BIC Tours said, “The world is here at JATA Tourism Fair inviting Japanese to visit their countries. We are putting on a spirited fight for Uganda. With support f Uganda tourism board and our Uganda Embassy Tokyo we will surely win more Japanese to visit Uganda come 2017.”
This four day world class tourism industry event ran from September 22nd to the 25th and attracted tourism players from all over the world.
During the expo, every destination & company did their best to attract attention. Uganda did best with the Gomesi as it attracted many women trying on with nice photo moments at the Ugandan Booth.
Speaking on the last day of the expo, Mr. Mugisha said that he went around to learn how others are doing it. At Springs Airline they had pilot & crew attires for every age both male & female, he became the pilot landing at Haneda International Airport on his maiden flight and assured his passengers that his next landing will be at Entebbe International Airport. In much excitement after landing, he said, “It was a nice feeling being a pilot for the first time.”
During the event, organizers recorded a total attendance of 185,800 (cumulative over the four days), an all-time high for the event. The event was held with five main components: the Exhibition, with displays from 140 countries and regions around the world, as well as the 47 administrative divisions of Japan and 1,181 companies and organizations; the JATA Tourism EXPO Japan Forum, in which experts discussed the latest trends in tourism; the Business Meeting, a meeting of suppliers and travel agencies from Japan and abroad; JAPAN NIGHT, which brought together general consumers and domestic and foreign tourism industry leaders; and the Japan Tourism Awards, recognizing the contributions of companies, organizations, and individuals who have worked to boost demand, as well as outstanding travel products.