#Uganda attempts to blend coffee and tourism

UGANDA TO HOST 1ST ANNUAL COFFEE AND TOURISM SYMPOSIUM AND EXHIBITION

(Posted 29th November 2018)

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Coffee Tourism Uganda, in collaboration with the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) under the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) and the Uganda Local Government Association, is set to organize the first ever Coffee and Tourism Symposium and Exposition at Golden Tulip Hotel, Kampala, come December 06th.

To be held under the theme, “Unlocking Uganda’s Coffee Tourism Potential”, this conference and exhibition will bring together key stakeholders in the coffee and tourism subsectors to deliberate on how the gains and potential in both subsectors can be enhanced.

Coffee and tourism are some of the biggest contributors to Uganda’s GDP. Secondly where there’s tourism attraction, coffee grows. It from this that we have been motivated to organize this symposium,” said Joan Kantu Else, CEO of Coffee Tourism Uganda.

The Government of Uganda, through the Coffee Roadmap, aims to accelerate coffee exports from the current 4.6 million (60kg) bags per year to 20 million (60 kg) bags by 2025. However, while the country is considered a major coffee supplier on the world stage, Uganda’s coffee does not feature in the world’s 15 top value earning coffee exporting countries.

Uganda Coffee Development Authority is determined to move Uganda’s position from just a top African producer to a top global exporter of premium coffee,” says, Dr. Emmanuel Iyamulemye, Managing Director of UCDA.

We believe that partnering with the tourism fraternity in this symposium, will enable us achieve this target sooner rather than later,” he concluded.

Coffee Tourism involves linking coffee farmers to consumers under a farm-to-cup approach, with consumers touring farms and sharing their experience with the farmers. The feedback from the tourists aids in increased production of high quality coffee and hence boosts returns.

Bringing consumers to the farms and ensuring they have all the amenities they need in terms of transport, accommodation and on-farm experiences will also encourage incremental earnings as farmers and those in the hospitality and tourism industries gain prominence due to global exposure,” commented Stephen Asiimwe, the CEO of the Uganda Tourism Board.

Renowned coffee and tourism expert, Glenn Jampol, the President and co-owner of Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation Resort and a renowned international sustainable tourism expert from Costa Rica, and Ms. Judy Kepher-Gona, a travel and tourism expert from Kenya, will be key speakers at the symposium slated for December 6 in Kampala.

At least 180 delegates and 20 exhibitors are expected at the inaugural event, including tour operators, coffee farmers, hoteliers and others involved in the hospitality and coffee industry. It will provide an opportunity for these stakeholders to meet, establish business relationships, and discuss coffee tourism opportunities and ways to improve business.

Mr. Asiimwe also noted that it is expected that the Coffee and Tourism Symposium will become an annual event with growth in the number of participants.

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