Uganda last week unveiled four tourism products as part of its bid to boost the country’s tourism potential
Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) and Uganda Tourism Association (UTA) in collaboration with Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) the Namugongo martyr’s Shrine as the center of Faith Based Tourism, Uganda National Museum Indigenous Dinner, Uganda Rwenzori Cultural Trail, and Interpretation Capacity Building for Birding.
The money will be raised through partnership with local and tourism companies from neighboring countries such as Kenya and Rwanda, among others, with UTB, UTA and TMEA contributing the biggest percentage.
According to Richard Kawere, UTA’s technical coordinator, the funds will be used to construct accommodation structures, cultural museums and marketing of the new products.
“This is just an estimate of the costs that would be incurred in establishment and marketing of new tourism products. The final budget will be established after consultation meetings and site visits,” Kawere said.
TMEA senior programmer Wanjiku Kimamo, whose organization has supported the project with Shs1.1b, and UTB Chief Executive Officer Stephen Asiimwe, said the new products will, among other things, enhance tourism institutional capacity and sustainability through building national tourist apex associations; encourage private public dialogue; as well as improve competitiveness and marketability of Uganda tourism products.
“Our partnership is to increase trade for prosperity in the EAC region. We are looking at increasing tourism and export capability of EA countries,” Kimamo said.
Kimamo called upon East Africa governments to take tourism as one of the priority sectors because of its strong participation of enterprises, opportunities to create jobs, increase incomes and contribution to national economies.
Asiimwe said new products will boost tourism earning from $1.4b to more than $2b in the next two years. He said the products are estimated to attract 100,000 potential visitors annually, spending $250 a night.
“Focusing on visitor’s stay and what they spend will translate into increased visitor volumes and value to the economy. If implemented, this will strengthen competitiveness of Uganda as a destination,” Asiimwe said.
UTA President Bonifence Byamukama, said their 2015 study revealed that many tourists go back with the money because Uganda tourism has been reduced to only wildlife.
“Uganda’s tourism has been rotating around guerrillas and other wild animals. We need new spice in the tourism industry,” Byamukama said.
Source: Daily Monitor