In 2005, an attempt at promoting tourism in Uganda was made with the one million dollar ‘Gifted By Nature’ campaign on CNN. It made little impact on awareness or arrival figures.
Then 2009 ‘Friend a Gorilla’ campaign had a more viral impact to date total 15,942 only.
The other promotional attempt was a video sponsored by USAID titled ‘Tourism Investment Opportunities in Northern Uganda’ following the end of the 20 year insurgency. Once again the views of this video on YouTube are a paltry 1,607, almost a year since the launch in 2011. Within a few years on, hitherto little known Jason Russell made nonsense of our promotions with ‘Kony 2012’ tipping the 82 million tweets.
Notwithstanding Russell’s shenanigans, we must use his accomplished mobilisation skills to get at least 10% of the tweets, bloggers and Facebookers to visit Uganda this year. By now this should have inspired visits to actual scenes.
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has already ‘tweeted ‘celebrities with an invitation to visit Uganda. This tour would ideally include a visit to the national parks and the communities surrounding these conservation areas that were adversely affected by the war, ‘Invisible Children’ projects in Northern Uganda; including a visit to Jacob the former ‘child commuter’ and abductee portrayed in the movie whose voice has since broken, testimony of its timing since original footage.
This should trigger an avalanche of more tweets translated into tourist arrivals.
Then the questions regarding the actual situation on the ground may be resolved, finally bringing to rest the ghost of Idd Amin, exorcise the demons ‘tweeting’ Russell and perhaps vindicate him for his probably well intended but poorly executed attempt at stardom.