Tourism in western Uganda is expected to receive a boost from the development of a new Island resort on Lake Bunyonyi in Kabale district.
A Director of Bunyonyi Wildlife Island Mr Jim Bitwire, said up to Shs1 billion will be invested in Kyahugye Island Resort to further tourism activities in the region.
“We are looking at Lake Bunyonyi as the hub of Tourism in this country. So, we are trying to create something unique for the region,” Mr Bitwire said.
Lake Bunyonyi, the second deepest lake in the world lies on a strategic location of the tourist circuit encompassing the mountain gorilla region of Uganda, and Rwanda.
The Lake is also famous for bird watching. So far, Shs600 million has been invested in the Island resort that is expected to generate hundreds of jobs and incomes for the local people and businesses in the western region.
The first phase of the project with up to 49 rooms, and cottages will be launched on December 26 while completion of the project is planned for mid next year.
The translocation of animals and birds from other national parks is also expected to help schools in Kabale cut back their tourism budgets to other areas as the resort positions its self as a wildlife research and education centre.
Mr Bitwire added that the Island will provide a place where students and people can carry out research with ease.
The investment comes at a time when Uganda’s tourism industry is registering improved growth in the range of 6-8 per cent per annum.
Tourists number increased by four times in the last ten years, from less than 200,000 in 1998 to 843,864 in 2008.
The numbers however retreated to 817,000 last year due to the global recession that hit the airline and tourism industries. However, foreign exchange from tourism rose to $600, according to statistics compiled by the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB).