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Uganda’s tourism ministry sets April 12-16 for ‘explore west’ campaign

Biharwe trading centre is clearly seen from the top of the Eclipse Monument – which is part of Igongo Cultural Centre, situated approx.15KM from Mbarara City.

Kampala, Uganda | JULIUS BUSINGE | In a bid to further boost growth of domestic tourism, Uganda’s tourism ministry has set April 12-16, 2023 as dates for ‘explore west’ campaign that will see tourists traverse different areas in the Western part of Uganda.

The announcement comes three months after the ministry successfully conducted ‘Explore Elgon’ campaign that exposed tourist attractions in the Eastern part of the country.

Martin Mugarra Bahinduka, the state minister for tourism made the announcement at Sheraton Hotel on March 28. Regional explorations are part of the Explore Uganda, the Pearl of Africa – the country’s official destination brand.

“Domestic tourism is a sustainability aspect of the sector,” Mugarra said. He said Covid-19 restrictions linked to international travel taught “us a lesson about promoting domestic tourism”.

‘Explore West’ campaign will cover places like the Equator, Igonog Museum, Eclipse Monument in Biharwe, Mugaba Palace, Kyambura Tea Growers Estate, Lake Nkugute, Lake Mburo National Park, Mweya Peninsula in the Queen Elizabeth National Park, Katwe Salt Lake, Amabeere ga Nyinamwiru, Tooro Cultural Heritage and more.

Before the onset of COVID-19, tourism was the leading foreign exchange earner bringing in US$1.6 billion, contributing about 8% to GDP and over 500,000 jobs, according to the World Travel Tourism Council 2020 report.

International tourists are the major contributors to the sector revenue. Domestic tourism campaigns are instrumental in complementing growth of the sector going forward. Mugarra confirmed that ‘Explore North’ campaign will be held sometime in June this year.

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