Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | “How many tourists actually visit Uganda?” is a question that many keep asking.
According to Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), 1.3 million visitors came to Uganda, generating 1.4 billion dollars.
Uganda Radio Network put this question to the chief executive of UTB, Stephen Asiimwe, on whether the 1.3 million visitors, also termed tourists, actually include Ugandans returning home.
According to Asiimwe, the 1.3 million visitors are foreigners, and not all are necessarily tourists in the real sense but those coming for business and conferences.
Asiimwe says each visitor is considered as a kind of tourist because they end up spending money on food, travel, accommodation and other things, hence the 1.3 million figure.
He says that Ugandans returning home are not treated as visitors, hence not included in the visitors or tourist data.
According to the Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA, foreign tourists who visit national parks range between 200,000 and 300,000, suggesting that the number of actual tourists is lower than the visitors number of 1.3 million.
Tourism is the biggest foreign exchange earner for Uganda.