THE RECAP OF 2014 UGANDA’S TOURISM INDUSTRY – UGANDA SAFARI NEWS
The tourism sector is apparently the chief export earner for Uganda leading the remittances from abroad and coffee revenue. This comes along with increase in the number of Uganda safari tour undertakers that form the ground for the travellers expenditure and multiplier effect resulting into increased returns from the tourism industry. It is in year 2014 that the tourism sector of Uganda has attained this position.
The issue of Uganda tourism and travel industry was further put in the world news by the Uganda’s President H.E Yoweri Museveni after making remarks that Uganda was better than Spain in terms of travel destinations. This inspired various players including the U.K based Guardian to run an opinion poll on the matter and interestingly Uganda emerged the first with 79% against 21% for Spain which showed that many travellers had interest in planning safari tours to Uganda.
The marketing efforts have tried to intensify with the budget to Uganda Tourism Board increased to 6billion since 1990s. The world Channels like CNN have gone ahead to interview individual entrepreneurs in the tourism sector while the communities around the Uganda safari parks have been sensitized to appreciate the value of tourism and position themselves to reap from it.
The tourism strategic plan was launched which outlined the structure of Uganda’s tourism industry for the next ten years. The plan featured various attractions and most especially those that have the potential and should be taped for tourism development. The plan forecasts tourism receipts increase to $1.4billion per annum with the possibility of generating 150,000 extra tourism jobs. The value of tourism towards national development was also recognized in the National Development Plan 2010 – 15.
The work done by the tourism police and their current police strategy of community policing has set the ground for safety of travellers while on safaris in Uganda. The emergency lines have been put for tour companies to call in case of emergence.
The Uganda’ tourism industry has also had the bad in the year 2014 for example; the outbreak of Ebola, passing of anti-gay bill and the destruction of forest in different parts of the country without intervention of the National Forestry Authority. The Ebola issue was mistaken for being in the whole of Africa prompting travelers to cancel their safaris to Africa including safaris to Uganda. The Ugly side was that there was conflicts amongst tourism players thus there was failure to reach consensus and tackle challenges as a team which prompted the big players to keep quiet denying the young operators from learning from them. The terrorist attacks in Kenya and also reported planned attacks on Entebbe International Airport had a considerable effect on Uganda’s tourism.
The efforts towards improving Uganda’s tourism have been featuring the formation and strengthening of regional tourism clusters so as to boast domestic and regional tourism. Whereas the prospects of 2015 include increased popularization of Uganda abroad through hiring of Public Relations forms. Proposals include; constructing a political museum that features historical leaders like Idi Amin, planting and conservation of trees, community empowerment, product development, increased promotion and formation of Uganda Tourism Authority that will bring together all the tourism bodies including UWA, UTB, UWEC, Export Promotion Board and Presto under one roof and harmonize their relations and responsibilities. These proposals are thought to increase efficiency with in the sector and eventually increase safari holidays to Uganda.
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