Uganda Travel News

Tourism has been the leading foreign exchange earner in Uganda having surpassed Agriculture in recent time. As we talk, the Uganda shilling is depreciating at an alarming rate and currently the United States dollar is trading at an equivalent of Uganda Shillings 3050 per dollar. The Bank of Uganda has intervened by selling security bills to reduce shillings in speculation but the situation is not about to stabilize since this seems to be a global challenge. According to reports coming from Bank of Uganda, Uganda imported more goods compared to what was exported. This therefore implies that more United States dollars and other foreign currencies were spent compared to what was earned in terms of visible and invisible exports.

The government of Uganda and the private sector are monitoring this situation accordingly and it is feared that if not controlled very well, then prices for basic and essential commodities and services are likely to increase, inflation is likely to hit the highest mark, cost of living has already increased and many companies are likely to lay off many employees in order to break even on their side.

Uganda is endowed with so many tourist attractions which include the mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park, Chimpanzees in Kibale, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Budongo, beautiful national parks such as Queen Elizabeth, Murchison Falls National park among others. The other outstanding attractions include Lake Victoria which the largest fresh water lake in Africa with its numerous beaches, The Nile which is the longest river on the planet earth with its source in Jinja, we have Rwenzori mountains which are the largest mountain ranges in Africa as well as her hospitable people with different cultures. The government and the private sector have invested heavily in infrastructure such as roads, hotels, lodges and tourist vehicles in order to improve the standard of service offered to tourists that will make it to Uganda.

The major challenge that is facing Uganda’s tourism is lack of enough funds to promote this sector. Uganda Tourism Board that is supposed to promote and market Uganda is still underfunded and most of her budget goes to paying employees of the board leaving tourism with a small budget for marketing. Our Neighbours Rwanda, Tanzania and Kenya have understood the importance of tourism in relation to foreign exchange in flow and have been spending heavily to increase tourist inflow in their countries. This has worked for them and should work for Uganda as well. If Uganda follows suite, then more dollars will enter the country and the exchange rate will go down and possibly this will help to stabilize the unstable Uganda shilling both in the short and the long run.

We are sure that the government of Uganda is banking on oil exploration and production but the global prices have gone down and this might not work as expected. The whole process of oil needs a lot of investment compared to tourism.

We pray that the government listened and takes the advice given to them to promote tourism for both short and long term solutions to our economy and shilling.

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