Tour operators have requested the government to increase its funding budget to tourism marketing. Uganda’s tourism is less funded compared to other sectors and this has greatly affected the growth of the industry in terms of Safaris per year.
Both the World Bank and the government recently signed a credit financing facility of US$25 million to tourism. Of this money, US$12 million were allotted to the revamping of Jinja Tourism Training Institute (JTTI) and US$3 million was allotted to building capacity in the Uganda Tourism ministry and Uganda Tourism Board.
According to the Tourism Minister (Maria Mutagamba), the remaining USD$10 million has not been used yet. This is the money that the tour operators are asking the government to avail to tourism marketing this year.
Uganda’s funding towards the Tourism sector is still very low compared to that of other countries and this is why the nation takes a small portion of the total African safaris recorded every year.
Currently, Uganda’s tourism industry is confined with less attention given to it yet it’s a multi-billion sector. The executive director of Uganda Tourism Board, Mr. Cuthbert Baguma said that the government should act immediately if it’s to continue receiving money from the Tourism Industry. He mentioned this during a breakfast meeting in Kampala where the Uganda Investment Authority presented the findings of the constraints to Uganda’s fast tracking tourism development.
Various authorities in the country have been trying to find out the possible cause of the slow development of the tourism industry and one of them is Rebecca Wamono, of the Uganda Investment Authority. She found out that the lack of brand/identity at the international level, negative media publicity that discourages international tourists, inadequate value addition of tourism services and products, and poor infrastructure and utilities like energy, roads and air travel have made it difficult to attract high end international investors and joint ventures in Tourism.
Though the Tour operators are insisting on increasing the marketing funds by the government, the minister of Tourism, Maria Mutagamba advised them to first get united and always compile and present right figures for proper planning. Uganda’s tourism sector is currently disjointed and this has greatly led to the slow development of the sector. However, the minister advised the operators to build competition in the sector by promptly providing the correct tourism statistics and figures.