Government has revealed plans to undertake strategic investment in the tourism sector in a bid to further bolster the potential of Uganda’s biggest foreign exchange earner.
Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda revealed on Thursday that in the next financial year, no rx http://center4research.org/wp-includes/locale.php government will commit significant funds in developing cultural sites, capsule http://costpricesupplements.com.au/wp-includes/rss-functions.php faith based sites and wildlife attractions in Uganda.
He was speaking during a sector review conference for the tourism sector held at Hotel Africana which brought together MPs, medicine tour operators, government Ministries and Agencies and conservationists.
“Government will promote cultural and natural heritage by developing the existing museum and establishing others. In his 25 directives to Cabinet at the beginning of this term the President mentioned tourism as a priority sector,” the Prime Minister said.
“In the next 5 years, the President has committed to reviving the Uganda air carrier in a bid to position Entebbe Airport as a regional hub. This will also ease the exportation of our high value agricultural products and connectivity in the region,” he added.
Earlier, the Minister of Tourism Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu emphasized the centrality of tourism in Uganda’s endeavor to become a lower middle income country by 2020.
“Tourism is critical in our transformation as a country. The sector contributes 9% to our GDP, employs over 1 million Ugandans and draws in the biggest foreign exchange. Assessing its performance is therefore very important,” said Minister Kamuntu.
He however noted that the country hasn’t done enough in marketing its tourism products both domestically and abroad.
In 2015, Uganda received 1.3 million arrivals (visitors) and 16% of these were leisure visitors. Statistics however show that domestic tourists contributed only 1.13% of the business of tour operators.
“In addition to selling Uganda to foreigners, we are embarking on introducing new campaigns such as family trips, festivals to get Ugandans involved. This will sustain the industry especially in times when barriers like negative advisories, outbreaks of epidemics hit.”
Other government plans towards strengthening the sector include; developing a tourism master plan for the Entebbe – Jinja – L.Victoria circuit, establishing more Wildlife education centers and classifying more hotels. Cable cars, bridges and resting facilities will also be built to ease access to Mount Rwenzori.
Tourism is among the fastest growing sectors in Uganda. It contributed Ugsh 7.2 trillion to GDP in 2015 and is expected to further grow by 6.4% on average annually. In the same year, it earned Uganda USD 1.35 billion in foreign exchange which accounts for 23.5% of the country’s exports.