Uganda is one of the upcoming tourism destination in Africa popularly known for mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This pearl of Africa has suffered a lot in the hands of dictators such as Idi Amin who ruthlessly ruled Uganda and chased away many Indian investors in the early 1970’s. Many business collapsed leading to an imaginable economic depression in Uganda. All foreigners were looked at as spies and tourism wet down to rats. Many wild animals were poached and killed to extinction to an extent that white rhinos are only being restored now.
Immediately after the National Resistance Army liberation war of 1986, Uganda has since enjoyed relative peace and security for almost thirty years now. This favorable and conducive environment has brought confidence and attracted several investors in the tourism sector such as hotels, tour operations and the government has also done well in improving on infrastructures such as roads as well as services such as security.
From all the above development, the government has been looking at Tourism as its leading foreign exchange earner and in order to support it, an independent ministry has been created for its sake and two bodies; Uganda Tourism Board in charge of marketing Uganda as well as Uganda Wildlife authority in charge of conserving for generations were created. Due to lack of enough funding, not much has been done on the front of marketing and promoting Uganda. That said and done, the budget for marketing and promoting Uganda has been increasing year after year and with the new team at Uganda Tourism board, Uganda Tour operators and other stake holders have been able to attend international exhibitions that include ITB Berlin, World Travel Market in London as well as Indaba in south Africa. Uganda has managed to scoop the best ward as the leading exhibitor in Africa this year and all this shows development in the right direction.
Given all the above facts and Uganda’s abundant natural and cultural attractions, tourism as business is not doing well something that has affected hotels, lodges and tour operators. Many big companies have been forced to close shop while others have been forced to down size on staff in order to break even. There are several factors one can bring forward in trying to explain this.
There have been so many terror alerts aimed at hitting Uganda due to its involvement in Somalia where alshabab and other militants were basing to attack other countries. When this alerts are issued, all potential tourists most especially from Australia, America and Britian tend to cancel their holidays to Uganda. The situation has been worsened by terror attacks on Kenya. The only positive development is that given all the terror threats and alerts, Uganda as managed to remain stable and no attach has been recorded since 2010.
The Ebola scourge in western West Africa has also so much affected the tourism industry in Uganda. Many potential tourists have very little geography of Africa and they tend to think that Africa is one country and that such diseases can easily spread. Because of this irrespective of all efforts and fights that has put Uganda on the world map as leader in controlling and fight diseases such as ebola, business is not forth coming. The appreciation of the dollar in recent months has not spared the situation either.
This has led to making Uganda’s tourism product more expensive compared to other countries whose economies are relatively stable.
We at Encounter Africa remain committed to our esteemed clients and are always ready to serve you by providing you with timely and relevant information to enable you plan your holiday to Uganda and Rwanda basing on available facts.