Uganda tourism industry faces underfunding which remains the biggest hitch despite increase in the annual gross growth of 15% according to Uganda Travel Bureau (UTB).
While, after years of underfunding (sh500m), the government in 2009/ 10 FY upped tourism budget to sh2b, this UTB says is too small, with sh22b needed to rival Kenya, one of Africa’s tourism hub.
Due to low funding, four cultural and historical sites in West Nile and many others in the country which would attract more tourists aren’t developed.
Areas like Fort Dufile of Emin Pasha in Moyo which is strategically located on River Nile and Gordon Hill in South Sudan, when developed, tourists will visit and people will benefit.
Most Ugandans don’t visit the many tourism sites although there are incentives like low costs. UTB executive director Cuthbert Baguma makes an appeal to Ugandans to embrace their country by visiting the many tourism sites in their midst.
“If foreigners can come all the way from Europe and Asia to appreciate our country, why not us?” says Baguma.
Poaching is another setback to the industry. At least three elephants are killed in Uganda annually, says John Makombo, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) deputy director in charge of field operations.
Compiled by Jackie