UGANDA TARGETS TO TRIPLE TOURISTS WITH THE HELP OF IMPROVED TRANSPORT.
One of the Ugandan officials on Thursday said that Uganda is aiming at boosting the annual numbers of tourists to 4 million for the next coming five years; this will be done through improving transportation networks to all the national parks and other attractions in Uganda.
He again said that Uganda’s tourism attraction mainly gorilla trekking is one of the major foreign exchange earner for the country, it also exports tea and coffee but it has a small manufacturing base. It revealed commercial quantities oil in 2006 but has not started producing.
It was last year that Uganda received 1.3 million tourists and the number should therefore increase to 1.5 million tourists this year, said Stephen Asiimwe the chief executive Uganda Tourism Board.
He again said during the interview that their target is to get 4 million visitors by 2021.
“The government has highlighted tourism roads,” he said, adding Uganda had also contracted three international marketing firms to promote the country in North America and Europe.
Asiimwe said that road networks to be improved will include highways connecting national parks and major regional towns.
The tourism industry in Uganda has been gently improving after being knocked out by the effects of Islamist attacks in bordering Kenya, a major destination that saw visitor numbers fall. Uganda often benefits from people crossing the border for a few days.
A major attraction is the gorilla tours, which take place in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a stretch of jungle in the southwest on the border with Democratic Republic of Congo.
Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth parks boast outstanding waterfalls and big game animals, such as elephants and lions.
But tourists landing at Uganda’s only international airport at Entebbe, just outside the capital, usually face long journeys on often poorly maintained roads to reach those destinations.
Together with improving roads, Asiimwe said the government was following plans to renovate the small regional airports to provide alternative and faster routes for tourists to reach the parks.