Ms. Muhwezi interacting with hosted buyers at the event

A team from Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) led by Susan Muhwezi the Vice-Chairperson of the board, along with tourism and hospitality private sector are currently representing Uganda at the 32nd edition of IBTM World 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. This is one of the leading marketplaces for the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events (MICE) industry. Some of the attending private sector from Uganda include; Lake Kitandara Tours, Speke Resort, The Uganda Safari Company, Purposeful Incentives, MICE Uganda, Serena Hotels and Last Events; among others.

IBTM World 2019 is taking place from November 19-21, 2019 at Fira Barcelona Gran Via and will host more than 3000 exhibitors from different destinations and quality suppliers ready to meet and network with over 15,000 industry professionals and 4000 buyers from over 150 countries across the world.

Leading the delegation, Muhwezi said that IBTM presents an enormous opportunity for Uganda and in particular the hotel and accommodation segment to meet leading hosted buyers. She noted, “MICE tourism boosts hotel revenue and the economy. Our visit here is strategic and ties into the overall plan to not only boost tourism receipts and contribute to the growth of Uganda’s economy.”

According to a report published by Allied Market Research, titled, “MICE Industry by Event Type: Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2017-2023”, the global MICE industry was valued at US$752 billion in 2016 and is projected to reach US$1,245 billion in 2023, registering a compound annual growth rate of 7.5 percent from 2017 to 2023.

Commenting on the same, Lilly Ajarova, the UTB CEO said that Uganda’s participation in MICE exhibitions has been part of our bigger strategy to position Uganda as not only a leisure destination but a business host destination as well. The development of the MICE tourism sector offers vast opportunity to diversify Uganda’s tourism offering thus deepening and sustaining its tourism success, providing new business opportunities, building human resources, stimulating economic growth and earning significant additional tourism revenues.

In the recent past, Uganda has joined the league of preferred MICE Tourism destinations in the global MICE industry through the participation in MICE expos, hosting of international conferences and meetings such as the just-concluded Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference and membership of key MICE associations such as ICCA (International Congress and Convention Association), MPI – (Meeting Professionals International) and SITE – Society for Incentive Travel Excellence.

IBTM World is the leading global event for the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events industry, taking place annually in Barcelona – Spain. The event has one goal; to inspire the events world to deliver exceptional experiences for their customers. It brings together the global meetings industry, with everyone having that one common purpose – to meet the right people that can create better business results for their organisation. Furthermore, it helps build face to face connections with the right people, gain key industry insight and of course, engage in unrivalled networking opportunities over the three days.