The Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Ephraim Kamuntu has asked Ugandans to take it upon themselves to promote Uganda’s tourism sector because its growth will benefit everyone.
The minister noted that the tourism sector was the fourths driver of the desired middle income that Uganda wants to achieve in 2040 after agriculture, oil and gas plus the manufacturing sectors.
This growth will benefit everyone in the long run
“Our target as government is to make sure that we create a favourable atmosphere through which the tourism sector can operate and grow. However, the real job can only be done by the private sector, the media as well as the ordinary Ugandan,” he said.
Kamuntu was speaking at the Uganda tourism marketing strategy consultative meeting that was held Tuesday at Imperial Royale for all stakeholders with the intention of reviewing a year marketing strategy that was designed by a private consultant, Celestine Katongore from the Celes International.
The minister said; “For those in the hospitality sector, please do your job, offer quality services to these tourism at an affordable price. As for the media, promote Uganda using your media outlets. The general public also have men ways of helping the sector grow by being part of it as well as protecting the name of Uganda as you interact with outsiders.”
He added: “As a minister, I will be happy if our tourism numbers go up. We are targeting 4million tourists in 2020. So far we have only 1.3 million people coming in Uganda per year. The target we set is too high but very achievable if everyone does his part.”
The executive director Uganda tourism board, Steven Asiiimwe, said that as an organization, they were set to achieve the set target; however they needed the input of all Ugandans for this target to be achieved.
He said: “Our theme for the next five years is ‘tourism, every one’s business. We want to be able to involve all Ugandans in this campaign because Uganda is for all of us. When it grows, we all benefit.”
He added: “Uganda has challenges like historical factors and lack of standard hospitality services. We are working towards making sure that our hotels and other sectors that deal with our tourists are of standard and high quality because then tourists will be able to stay longer and pay more. We want to focus on quality instead of quality, we have what we call the ‘stay and spend factor’ where a few high profile tourists come to Uganda and spend a long time him while sending a lot. This can be achieved only if the qualities of our services are of international standards.”
He also asked the media to avoid irrepressible reporting that focus on negativity instead of focusing on stories that build the economy.
“One bad story can destroy billions of money for Uganda. while you carry out your role as informers, make sure that you report carefully without bias and seek all factors because you write that story that will destroy the economy,” he said.