2016 presidential elections and its impact on tourism
Tourism is likely to be impacted by the upcoming elections in 201 and in this article we try to look at all possibilities. Uganda is expected to go into polls come next year 2016 in February. Many presidential aspirants have picked nomination forms in preparation for this election which are likely to be hotly contested. As we write, His Excellency the President of Uganda Mr. Yoweri Museveni was suggested by the National Resistance movement caucus as their sole candidate for 2016 although this is not the right forum. Leaders are supposed to be approved by the central executive committee and then by the National Delegates conference. Among those aspiring to become president is the former vice president and secretary general of National Resistance Movement Mr Amama Mbabazi who expressed his aspiration last month. His aspiration has caused some unrest most especially within the National Resistance Movement even before a flag bearer is not yet decided on. They accuse him for neglecting the rules by declaring his intentions outside rules that govern the National Resistance Movement. In the Forum for Democratic Change, Dr Kizza Besigye who is a three time loser to the current president Yoweri Museveni got nominated this week as well as Mugisha Muntu who is the chairman of FDC. Many people are looking on to see how this will affect the tourism industry.
Reduction in tourist inflow
The beginning of 2016 is likely to experience low tourism inflow as tourists will not be sure of what might happen before or during these elections that are due in February. Tour Operators, Hoteliers and all the other stakeholders are not sure of what is likely to happen and they are praying hard that peace and stability exists before, during and after the elections. A tourist will not visit any destination where his security is never guaranteed. The current president His excellence Yoweli Museveni has stressed that no one can cause instability in Uganda and many are relying on him to see that the current stability is maintained.
Tourism Investments likely to stall
Apart from infrastructures such as roads being operated by the government, we are likely to see a decrease in the desire of private sector investment in the tourism industry. No body would like to invest his or her capital in any country that is likely to experience instability. Ugandans are therefore praying that the outcomes of the 2016 elections will be accepted by the losers so that stability is maintained.
Depreciation of the shilling
The dollar has been appreciating at the expense of the Uganda shilling leaving it weak for most of May, June and July and this trend is likely to increase as more and more shillings are released into the economy to facilitate the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections. This is likely to affect tourism as Uganda will be seen as an expensive destination compared to our African countries. Reduced exports and increased importation of goods and services amidst few dollars in the economy is likely to cripple the tourism sector in general. Tourism has been earmarked by government as one of the key sectors to earn the country more forex and for it to achieve this, conditions must be favourable