Uganda has been crowned this year’s Grand Prix and two times gold award winner by the International Tourism Film Festival Africa for its film Explore Uganda – The Pearl of Africa.

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

At a prestigious Awards Ceremony held at the Cape Town City Hall on Friday evening, UTB received the Gold Award for Tourist Destination Country-in Africa, Gold Award for Tourist Destination Country – Internationally and the Grand Prix Award for Tourism destination country in Africa.

The International Tourism Film Festival (ITFF) Africa Awards are part of the world’s leading film festivals and the only one in Africa with other circuits such as the New York Film Festival (USA), Cannes Film Festival in France, Terres Travel festival in Tortosa, Spain and the Amorgos Tourism Film Festival in Greece. The awards seek to honour exceptional and innovative video content related to the tourism and travel industry, accessible on all continents and can be seen and used on various platforms.

Commenting moments after receiving the award in Cape town, UTB Chief Executive Officer Lilly Ajarova said, “It is an honour and our pleasure to receive these awards. Besides being a great motivation to our sector. We shall leverage the recognition to maintain high standards for ourselves in terms of sustainability, quality and experience. This will also add to our voice to continuously position Uganda as a destination of choice in Africa and Internationally”

The film, which is now part of Uganda’s refreshed destination brand identity Explore Uganda, The Pearl of Africa seeks to increase arrivals in the destination as the global travel industry recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. UTB is also working with all stakeholders to rebuild and restart the sector as the global tourism and travel industry resumes.

The new destination brand Explore Uganda, The Pearl of Africa, was launched in the UAE in March 2022; the first international market to experience the launch of Uganda’s new destination brand.

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

“I would like to thank the Jury for finding us worthy of these awards. As a country, we are happy to be associated with ITFFA and we welcome all of you to come and Explore the Pearl of Africa as we continuously make it easy for tourists across the globe to visit us”. said, Uganda Tourism State Minister, Hon. Martin Mugarra Bahinduka in his

acceptance speech while receiving the awards alongside H. E Kintu Nyago – Uganda’s Acting High Commissioner to South Africa, Ms. Rosemary Kobutagi – Commissioner, Tourism Development and Ms. Lilly Ajarova – UTB CEO.

Hugo Marcos, General Secretary of the International Committee of Tourism Film Festivals (CIFFT) embarked “that the Explore Uganda Destination Video was one of the most rated films in the competition. It highlighted the uniqueness, authenticity and variety of Uganda’s beauty and inspired the jury and the film viewers to visit Uganda now”.

The Uganda Tourism Board’s Explore Uganda destination film was produced by LoukOut Films and directed by TBWA Uganda.

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

About Uganda Tourism Board:

Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) is a statutory organization established in 1994. Its role and mandate was reviewed in the Tourism Act of 2008. The Board’s mandate is to promote and market Uganda across the region and internationally, promote quality assurance in tourist facilities through training, grading and classification, promote tourism investment, support, and act as a liaison for the private sector in tourism development. The broader goals of the Board are to increase the contribution of tourism earnings and GDP, improve Uganda’s competitiveness as an international tourism destination and increase Uganda’s share of Africa’s and the World tourism market. UTB aims to create inclusive opportunities for the tourism sector through market transformation.

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