President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday 2nd March 2022, met with different stakeholders of the tourism industry to “harmonize all parties for the benefit of our tourism industry.”
The meeting was attended by executives of the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), officials from the tourism ministry, and representatives of tour operators.
Among them was, Martin Mugara Bahinduka (tourism state minister), Lilly Ajarova (UTB chief executive), Daudi Migereko (UTB chairman), as well as the leadership of the Uganda Hotel Owners Association (UHOA) and that of the Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO).
Until the covid-19 pandemic, tourism in Uganda was one of the leading exchange earner in Uganda with an average of 5.7 trillion every year. This has since changed and the different stakeholders asked to meet the President to share the challenges and suggest solutions to grow the industry again.
The meeting took place at State House and the stakeholders presented several challenges including the markets, opportunities to do expos like Dubai Expo and Pearl of Africa Tourism Expo brand initiative in and outside the country, conservation challenges, skilling and capacity building for the human resource in the tourism industry and limited resources as the budget allocated to Tourism is meager among others.
The President bounced the challenges right back at the meeting participants and asked them to meet as a group and come up with different initiatives to address the raised challenges.
He asked the team to meet him in 3 weeks to discuss solutions and come up with unified initiatives that everyone can go and implement to attract more tourists both domestic and international.
The Operators suggested to the President that as a way of promoting domestic tourism and shining the light on the industry, they proposed that he visit one of the national parks.
The President accepted the request by tour operators for him to visit one of the national parks as part of the Government’s efforts to promote tourism.