Uganda Travel News

Tourism Forum discusses tourism issues in UgandaToday at Hotel Africa, Uganda Tourism Association made organized a tourism forum to discuss the status of Uganda tourism, prospects, challenges and way forward. Fully attended by both government and private sector prayers, several issues were discussed for the benefit of the sector.

Tourism Forum

Key note address was given by the representative of the permanent secretary of Ministry of tourism who went ahead to provide tourism statistics most especially about trends and changes in number of tourists to Uganda. He also looked at how many tourists visit national park and how numbers have been changing. In his presentation, it was noted that the number of foreign non residents coming to Uganda had increased compared to previous years. He cited the cause of this as stretching from last year where there was an outbreak of Ebola in west Africa, terror alerts, Marburg out breaks, international economic breakdown and Uganda being referred to as an expensive destination.

The director of Tourism business and development also presented statistics of tourist inflow in Uganda National park and emphasized that their key role is to conserve and work with the private sector involved in selling Uganda as a tourism destination. He noted that Uganda wildlife Authority has confirmed that there will be no changes in her tariffs for 2016 and that there were minor changes only. He took this opportunity to launch 2016-17 discounted gorilla permits for the months of April, May and November 2016-17. He said that the price has been increased from $350 to $450 for foreign none residents. He also informed members that following their research, it was established that tourists tend to visit Kibale National park mainly in high season compared to low seasons and in order to maximize on the profits, Uganda Wildlife Authority has decided to introduce a third chimpanzee trekking session such that tourists can trek chimps at 8am, 11am and the 2pm. It is therefore hoped that more space will be created for more tourists to trek chimps during high season. He also mentioned that Uganda wildlife Authority will introduce discounted chimpanzee permits during low seasons of Aprl, May and November in kibale National park at only $100 enabling all those willing to trek chimps in low season to save $50.

The director of tourism business noted that while implementing all these, Uganda Wildlife Authority faces challenges but will not stop in their cause. He called on all stake holders to review their rates most especially during low season to make Uganda and affordable tourism destination.

During the same forum, the Executive Director of Uganda Tourism Board noted that their budget had been increased by 11 billion and that Uganda Tourism Board had attracted funding from UNDP mostly for product development and training. He therefore called on all private sector members present to take this chance and be trained on how to sell tourism better. He also informed clients that Uganda was going to hire PR firms in USA to promote Uganda as a tourism destination and that the cost tourism fares will be reduced. He called on members to embrace domestic tourism as the international market recovers from recess. He mentioned the importance of regional clusters in developing tourism and called on all sectors to work together to develop tourism. He also called upon the private sector to form a lobby team to engage government so that it gets to understand that tourism is the highest foreign exchange earner in the country. He also informed members that Uganda Tourism Board in conjunction with Uganda National Road Authority had mapped out key tourism roads to be developed.

Many issues were touched during this forum and members agreed that this should be a monthly event where all tourism stakeholders come to discuss matters relating to tourism. The president of Uganda Tourism Association assured members present that a report will be compiled and presented to government after every three months and as such feedback will be expected.

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