THE 2016 UGANDA TOURISM SECTOR HIGHLIGHT – UGANDA SAFARI NEWS
The Uganda Safaris and Tours have gained credibility world over and apparently the destination Uganda is among the prime safari points on the continent of Africa. Her great biodiversity including the critically endangered Mountain Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Big five, the lush flora, 11% of the world’s bird species and 50% of Africa’s bird species have made Uganda stand out in the crowd as a destination worth the hard earned penny.
2016 has been a year of tremendous effort as regards enhancing the Uganda’s tourism sector development. The country’s marketing strategy was refined and for the first time in history, Uganda was able to secure three public relation firms to undertake marketing of Uganda safari products in the key source markets of United States, Germany and United Kingdom. And with the keen supervision of the Uganda Tourism Board, the firms have made the destination Uganda receive remarkable coverage worth of $4 million in the main media houses in the respective markets of interest and more is anticipated in the remaining period. As a result, the visitor arrivals from United States and UK are expected to rise to around 60,000 in 2017 from 49,414 and 40,851 that were received in 2015 respectively while those from Germany are anticipated to rise to around 15,000 in 2017 from 9,585 that were received in the year 2015 according to the Deputy Chief Executive Director Mr. John Ssempebwa.
Besides the Public relations firms, the Uganda Tourism Board and the Uganda Tour Operators including Prime Uganda Safaris and Tours Ltd have participated in a range of exhibitions world over such as Indaba Fair in South Africa, Matka Travel Fair in Finland, WTM London, ITB Berlin, Magical Kenya Expo among others to showcase the beauty of Uganda with the intention of invigorating international travelers to plan holiday safaris to Uganda.
Locally, the launch of the domestic tourism campaign dubbed Tulambule by the State Minister for Tourism Hon. Godfrey Kiwanda has had a visible impact as well. The natives and foreign residents have gained awareness about the places of interest and besides the end of the month scheduled group travels, many local people were sighted at various tourist sites during the festive season.
Still on the side of marketing, the destination Uganda for the first time hosted Africa birding Expo at the historical Entebbe Botanical Gardens and it was a perfect avenue to show case the nation’s birding potential which in turn might stimulate the bird watching safaris in Uganda.
Besides Marketing, the destination Uganda has moved a step in the field of quality control and a range of sixty one (61) hotels have already been classified under the Hotel grading and classification programme and more facilities will be covered.
It is from such background that the stakeholders are optimistic that the year 2017 will be a fruitful year as regards the sector in question.