Tour visits are on an increase because the application is built for smartphones, the Uganda Guide App—a brainchild of the Pearl Guide Uganda— provides a detailed guide on places and attractions of Uganda, as well as travel and amenity listings of service providers.
Ms Maria Mutagamba, the minister of Tourism, who launched the new app at Serena Hotel on Friday, described it as a revolution and a new level of marketing Uganda’s tourism. Such marketing will help in selling Uganda as a tourist destination as well as increasing gorilla safaris to Uganda.
The minister, Hon. Mutagamba said. “ICT is a powerful tool for participating in the global market and enhancing local development opportunities. This landmark development is going to usher in a new era for our local tourism promotion, making it easier for anybody around the world to look for information on Uganda,”
Ms Mutagamba added that government has over the years faced challenges in marketing the country abroad and taking advantage of internet platforms such as a mobile application. She, however, cited challenges in marketing tourism both domestically and on the global front. These challenges have affected the tourism sector in Uganda and hence reducing the number of safaris.
She cites Tanzania, which spends $10 million (about Shs26 billion), Kenya puts in $24 million (about Shs62 billion) while Rwanda and Burundi have also taken over Uganda’s expenditure in marketing.
“Finances have set us back in terms of marketing. The budget is still low compared to other countries in the East African region, which we need to change,” Ms Mutagamba noted. She continued and said that such challenges have greatly affected safaris to Uganda.
Pearl Guide Uganda’s director, Philip Kalibwani, said the innovation is a step ahead in boosting the tourism sector, through which Uganda has been recognized by lonely planet and National Geographic. This recognition of Uganda has greatly helped to increase tour adventures to Uganda.
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