East Africa: South Korean Tourists Look to Region

Tourists from South Korea are optimistic about visiting Uganda and the rest of East Africa now that direct flights are possible.

Speaking during Uganda's National Day at Expo 2012 held in the South western city of Yeosu Korea, the Commissioner of Section for Uganda Amb. Julius Onen welcomed South Koreans to visit Uganda.

"Uganda has one of the highest tourism potentials in the world, with fantastic natural scenery and is home to half of the world's remaining mountain gorilla population," Onen stated adding that the country also has the highest mountain range in Africa, the Rwenzori Mountains and one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world, Murchison Falls.

Uganda is home to more bird species per square kilometer than any other country in Africa", Onen stated.

Hope comes after Kenya Airways started a direct flight from Inchon International Airport in Seoul, Korea to Nairobi, Kenya. "This a clear example of how regional tourism circuits should be enhanced as opposed to one country tourism stops. Tour and Travel agents and Safari companies in the region should network and communicate more in fostering regional circuit trips by tourists from Korea and Asia," revealed Onen.

This will bring out the true meaning of the East African Community to all parties in the tourism value chain, from the handicraft producer in the village to the 4 star hotel in the city.

Annually, 8.5million South Koreans are outbound for destinations outside their country. South Koreans are the second largest coffee drinkers in Asia after Japan and coffee exports will grow with increased tourist arrivals from the East.

Amb. Onen informed the Korean audience that attended Uganda's National Day cultural event

that the people of Uganda have a rich historical and cultural heritage which has enabled her interact with the people of different nations across the two hemispheres.

Eco-tourism has enabled the fusion of nature and culture in protecting and preserving the countries unique habitats.

The Ngoma Ya Mungu cultural group from Uganda entertained the audience with dances from different parts of Uganda in the Expo Hall. Ms. Maria Kim a Director at the African Institute of Music (AIM) which put together the cultural performance offered a taste of Uganda to the South Korean crowd.

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