Tourism: Uganda Hires Marketing Firms in $7 trillion Global Travel Market

President Yoweri Museveni is Monday expected to endorse three Public Relations (PR) and Marketing firms hired to represent Uganda in the growing global travel market.

The firms PHG Consulting, drug Kamageo and KPRN represent, promote and seek tourism investment on behalf of Uganda in the North America, UK and Ireland, and German speaking markets at a total cost of US$1.5million for a year.

Officials said the firms were chosen after an international competitive bidding process managed and funded by the World Bank through the Competitiveness and Enterprise Development Project (CEDP), coordinated by the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU).

The five-year project comprises of four major components and is being implemented by seven agencies.

Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) is one of the beneficiary Government Agencies that has received support from World Bank.

While the move will be welcomed by many in the tourism sector, a lot needs to be done in promoting domestic tourism using local media platforms.

Government would as well have to consider facilitating construction of gazetted business centres to market locally manufactured products such as garments; drinks and entertainment to enable locals reap directly from tourism.

Poor transport infrastructure near tourism sites also remains a hindrance to the growth of the sector.

The poor state of the national museum, heavy city traffic jam and lack of innovativeness deny the country money from tourists who would be easily convinced to tour attraction sites in and around Kampala city.

These key attraction sites include Kasubi Tombs, Namugongo Martyrs Shrine, Amin Torture Chambers in Mengo and Entebbe Zoo.

Under CEDP, the tourism sector is being supported through product planning, packaging and promotion among other components.

Targeted areas

The project will support the Government of Uganda in promoting tourism products and services to our key source markets of North America (USA and Canada), UK and Ireland; and Germany speaking Europe (Germany, Austria and Switzerland).

Under this arrangement, the Uganda Tourism Board said it is using part of this support to engage public relations and marketing firms to provide strategic marketing, sales representation, and public relations services in the foreignsource markets.

The purpose is to popularize Uganda’s existing and new tourism products and services in order to increase their visibility and attract more tourists.

“According to the World Tourism Organization, tourism has the power to drive inclusive development, create jobs and build the sustainable societies we want for our future. Tourism builds mutual understanding and can help us safeguard our shared natural and cultural heritage,” says Dr. Maria Mutagamba the Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities.

She said the overall objective of the assignment is to leverage Uganda as a prime tourism travel destination.

This is to be achieved by providing strategic marketing, sales representation and public relations services in North America (USA and Canada), UK and Ireland; and Germany speaking Europe (Germany, Austria and Switzerland).  This is to increase tourism arrivals and length of stay in the country and overall spend.

Uganda Tourism Board CEO Stephen Asiimwe says the firms work will directly impact on development and employment in Uganda.

“In 2015, the direct contribution of Travel and Tourism to GDP was Shs 2,982.1bn (3.7 percent of GDP).

This is forecast to rise by 0.7 percent to Shs 3,002.7bn in 2016,” says Asiimwe.

He adds that this contribution reflects the economic activity generated by industries such as hotels, travel agents, airlines entertainment, leisure, and transportation services.

“Tourism generated 464,500 jobs directly in 2015 (3.1 percent of total employment), while in the wider context including effects from investment, the supply chain and induced income impacts, it generated 1,173,000 jobs (7.8 percent of total employment),” adds Asiimwe.

The total contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP (including wider effects from investment, the supply chain and induced income impacts) was Shs 7,270.5bn in 2015 (9.0 percent of GDP) and is expected to grow by 1.4 percent  to Shs7,372.1bn (8.6 percent of GDP) in 2016.


Tourism arrivals to Uganda 2007 – 2013 Source: Uganda Bureau of Statistics

Year   No. of Tourist arrivals           

2007   641,743

2008   843,864

2009   817,424

2010   945,899

2011   1,151,356

2012   1,196,765

2013   1,206,334

2014   1,266,046


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