The Tourism sector players have decried the lack of finances as one of the major challenges failing its growth.
Mr Curthbert Baguma, the chief executive officer of Uganda Tourism Board, said during the celebration of the World Tourism day on Monday that the board only receives Shs2 billion from government every financial year, which is way below what is required.
“Ordinarily we would expect an annual budget of not less than Shs10 billion to deal with issues related to marketing so as to match other East African countries like Kenya and Tanzania, which use $7 million and $4.5 million respectively.” He added
According to Mr Baguma, the agency would need about Shs22 billion to effectively undertake tasks, including tourist attraction and showcasing the country abroad. The Monday International Tourism Day celebrations in Jinja under the theme: ‘Tourism and Biodiversity’, was officially presided over by Mr Aggrey Awori, the minister of ICT, who represented the President.
In a report released by the World Tourism Organisation, there is an indication of a drop of 4 per cent in Uganda’s tourism potential; however, by the end of 2010 tourism is expected to grow again by 3 per cent worldwide.
In the 2010/11 financial year, the Tourism sector is estimated to contribute about 7.3 per cent to Uganda’s revenue. Real GDP growth is estimated at 5.8 per cent by end of 2010 and in terms of employment, the sector is estimated to contribute about 7.4 per cent of total employment.