The tourism industry in Uganda has greatly been affected by Poaching which is carried out in protected areas hence affecting the increase in Uganda safaris. The minister of tourism, Hon. Maria Mutagamba has identified poaching as a major challenge to the tourism sector.
She added that Poaching by armed and organized criminal syndicates that fuel contraband wildlife trade especially of ivory and rhino horn is one of the major challenges the ministry faces. It has affected Uganda Safaris.
The encroachment to the National Parks by the communities, human- wildlife conflicts arising from increased human and wildlife population were also serious challenges affecting the protected areas thus reducing on safaris to Uganda.
The ministry report shows that the number of tourists coming to Uganda reduced from 207,000 in the year 2011/2012 to only 182,000 in the 2012/2013 financial year.
She attributed this to the general economic downturn in the world, negative security advisories on Uganda by the source markets (UK, USA, Australia and European Union), the war in Eastern DRC and last year’s outbreak of deadly diseases like Ebola and Marburg.
The minister assured that more efforts have been undertaken to increase the number of tourists to Uganda in the current financial year. Some of these efforts include active promotions and creation of awareness for tourism products on website, TVs, radios, newspapers and talk-shows.
The minister reported that despite the setbacks, Uganda received top accolades as top tourist destination in 2012 from Lonely Planet, 2013 Certificate of Excellence about Queen Elizabeth National Park from Trip Advisor and inclusion of Kidepo National Park in CNN’s 10 best National Parks in Africa. This image of Uganda as at tourist destination will fortunately increase on safaris to Uganda.
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