Uganda safaris are greatly affected due to the poor performance of the tourism industry this year. The stakeholders are airing out problems like constant strikes, demonstrations, riots that cause negative publicity and bring about some clients deciding to postpone while others decide to cancel the trips to Uganda
Herbert Byaruhanga who is the President of Uganda Tourism Association said that also they had high expectation of reaping from the fact that Kenya was going through scary moments which were during the Kenya elections period that were held in March, Uganda was not able to achieve that because of the erratic demos that were going on in the country. This has affected many Gorilla trekking safaris since there are a number of tour operators who said they registered cancellations from tourists who were scared of the negative images and stories of protests on Kampala streets hence opting for other countries.
Tour visits to Uganda will improve if the government comes in to stop such riots and demonstrations as they strongly hurt the industry which highly contributes to national revenue. It’s also noted that security is very important for the prosperity of tourism business since the moment a tourist gets to know of any slight confusion or insecurity in the country, all they do is cancel the trips and book with other countries with the same products.
In August 2011, the tourism industry performance declined due to the ‘walk to work’ demos but managed to pick up with an increase in the number of tourists rising to 1.1 million tourists by December 2012. But the industry had lost about 30% of their business in the demonstrations which was hugely during their peak season so said Amos Wekesa, the then UTA president an association that brings together all tourism stakeholders like the tour operators, hotel owners, safari guides, airlines and heritage sites owners, Community Tourism Associations, travel agents, tourist car hire companies and all the others.
All the above mentioned bodies are hurt once the number of visitors reduces for example the hotel owners alone lost about 70% of their business in the 2011 demonstrations thus the reason it should not be allowed to happen again for the good of both the industry and the government. Once this is handled in the proper way, safaris to Uganda will certainly improve and increase at the same time.