By Julius Businge
The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities (MTWA), in partnership with The World Bank and DFID will be launching a report on the current status of the Tourism Industry in Uganda on Aug 1 in Kampala.
A statement released by the bank on July 29 says the report to be launched contains survey findings that targeted high-spending foreign tourists, especially the nature and other tourists who respond well to government policies to strengthen the tourism sector.
The survey carried out by UBOS on which the study is based found that of the high-spending visitors, 32 percent come for business reasons, 11 percent for conferences, 17 percent for leisure, 20 percent for visiting friends and family, 5 percent for spiritual/religious purposes, and two percent for cultural tourism.
The survey also found that tourists’ satisfaction with their trip to Uganda was high; however, respondents identified transport within Uganda and insufficient visitor information as well as the quality of customer service as the main areas for improvement.
The main policy intervention areas proposed by the study include investing in natural assets and management of national parks that drive Uganda’s tourism, removing infrastructure bottlenecks, particularly roads providing access to protected areas, increasing supply or tourism services through private investments, and marketing Uganda.
As the study shows, if improvements in these areas result in just one additional night tourists stay in Uganda, it would increase GDP by 1%.
It would also increase exports by 7%. Official numbers indicate that the tourism sector generated 5.6% of GDP in 2012.