POATE 2024The Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo (POATE) is an annual tourism and travel trade show organized by the Uganda Tourism Board. POATE 2024 was held in Kampala, Uganda, from May 23rd to 25th, 2024, under the theme “Responsible Tourism.”

The event featured sessions on MICE, emerging trends, and green investment growth, among others. Key discussions included sustainability in travel and tourism, the impact of technology and AI, and financing opportunities for the sector.

Dr. Ioannis Pappas, GSTC Program Director of the Mediterranean Region, gave the closing keynote speech, titled “Is Sustainable Tourism practical or a catch phrase?” where he delved into the challenges destinations and tourism stakeholders face in implementing sustainable practices. He emphasized the importance of integrating sustainability into all aspects of tourism development, highlighting both the obstacles and opportunities for achieving genuine sustainability. Dr. Pappas also provided insights into best practices, offering actionable strategies for overcoming common obstacles and fostering a more sustainable tourism industry.

GSTC Highlights Sustainability at Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo 2024

“The Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo is a transformative event driving the future of African tourism, especially in Uganda. This remarkable gathering highlights the essential role of sustainable tourism certification and standards. With GSTC’s dedicated efforts, we’re championing the green transition of local SMEs, elevating awareness, and empowering professionals on the path to certification. This expo is not just an event; it’s a catalyst for a sustainable tourism revolution in the region, and I am so pleased to contribute to such a vibrant audience!” Dr. Pappas said.

Since its inception eight years ago by the Uganda Tourism Board (a GSTC Member since February 2024), POATE has become a significant forum for sharing knowledge and experiences linking academia with industry practitioners, travel agencies, tourism boards, and hospitality entrepreneurs.