The Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), the government body in charge of promoting and marketing tourism, has appointed its first female CEO after months of searching.
Ajarova has been the Executive Director of the Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust since 2005, after serving at UWA as Marketing Manager in-charge of Product Development. She was also on the board of UTB in charge of directing Quality Assurance, on the Uganda Conservation Society Board, as well as and Nature Uganda, a conservation organization that champions the protection of birds and their habitats.
Ms Ajarova also has training at the International College of Tourism & Management Austria (1996) and a Bachelor’s Degree from the prestigious Makerere University, Kampala (1994). She was the recipient of the prestigious National Golden Jubilee Award 2015, Tourism Excellence Award 2017 and Wildlife Conservation Award 2017
Lily Ajarova won the mandate against her male counterparts Dr. Andrew Seguya Ggunga former Uganda Wildlife Authority Executive Director and Bradford Ochieng formerly director of corporate affairs at Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority after the three had been short listed for in December, 2018.
She replaces Dr. Stephen Asiimwe who has opted out to pursue further studies.
Bradford Ochieng who had contested for the top job had to settle for second spot after being appointed deputy chief executive officer, replacing Mr John Ssempebwa.
Last year, she was selected among Africa’s top travel 100 women as a leader, pioneer and innovator.
Uganda received around 1.7 foreign tourists in 2018. The Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) is optimistic the foreign visitors to the country may hit the 4 million mark in 2020.
Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has recruited market destination representatives who have been selling the country in the West, the East and some African countries like South Africa and Nigeria, to impact of which is being felt.
Middle East Market for Tourism
However, Uganda does not a have a dedicated marketing partner in the Middle East as yet. The increased flight connectivity between Uganda and the Middle East could become a useful source of foreign tourists for the landlocked country. A proposal was being discussed in 2018 to appoint Gateway Marketing Consultants, a Dubai-based media marketing and public relations firm as the official destination marketing partner for the Middle East.
“We had discussed the possibility of promoting Uganda’s tourism industry in the Middle East markets with the Ambassador of Uganda to the UAE as well as Stephen Asiimwe, UTB’s former chief executive during our official visit to Uganda in 2018,” says Hasan, the CEO of Gateway Marketing Consultants and a renowned media personality in the GCC.
Uganda’s Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities’ annual tourism sector performance report shows that tourism has emerged as Uganda’s leading foreign exchange earner, bringing in US$1.7 billion in 2018.
This figure could increase substantially in the coming years as the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) is expected to launch new initiatives to promote its tourism industry in new and emerging markets across the world.