Uganda is known to many as the pearl of Africa, gifted by nature and as Africa in one. This landlocked beautiful country is located in east Africa and it neighbors Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and southern Sudan. Uganda’s tourism industry is one of the most and fast developing sectors of the economy. It’s the leading foreign exchange earner to the government and among the top revenue earners. All these are so all thanks to magical attractions Uganda has that range from the gently slopping and snow capped mountains, lakes, rivers, wildlife species like the mountain gorillas, lions, elephants, zebra, buffaloes, hippos, rhinos, giraffes, unique cultures of the people and cuisines all supplemented by the cool climatic conditions in the country.
The tourism industry is however a very fragile industry that highly depends on factors like security, transport networks, human resource and above all marketing and publicity. The Ugandan government should therefore focus on those major areas while developing the tourism industry.
There major areas highlighted above really need great improvement however there is need to prioritize and select the most pressing areas that require development. For a long time, the government through Uganda tourism board has been focusing on marketing Uganda’s tourism potentials and has had some success. Other major areas that can also be prioritized include human resource development to ensure training of enough workers to serve the increasing number of tourists to the country. Infrastructure is also another important area especially developing the major routes leading to the most visited and potential tourist attraction sites. This would enable easy accessibility of those major attractions thus enhancing more remarkable tourist experiences.
There have been various hindrances to effective development of the tourism industry mainly resulting from limited funding and limited product development and packaging and yet with all the unique attractions uganda has, it needs to position her self as the number one tourism destination in Africa and the world at large and this it can do by well organizing the tourism industry, ensuring proper decision making, pooling the necessary resources required for marketing as well as ensuring positive impacts from the major tourism bodies that include the ministry of tourism wildlife and antiquities, Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), the Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO) and so many others.
The tourist’s numbers to Uganda increase each year that passes by and with the introduced single east African tourist visa for uganda, Rwanda and Kenya, more tourists will be able to explore the attractions in all the three east African countries. The government of Uganda’s plans to expand Entebbe international airport will do the tourism industry a great deal in increasing tourist arrivals to the country.
A major important aspect in boosting the tourism industry in Uganda is improving and developing the domestic tourism base to fight the problem tourist fluctuations especially during the low tourist season. Ensuring domestic tourism promotion and development will not only stabilize the tourist numbers in the area but also increase revenues to the to the government thus ensuring general economic growth.
An opportunity to the growth of Uganda’s tourism industry and the major east African countries is the on going regional integration that will see easy tourist activities in the member countries. This has already been proved by the east African tourist visa that has eased access of the east African tourist attractions in Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya. More and more benefits are expected to come with continuous cooperation like marketing east Africa as a single tourism destination, easy movement of tourist service providers across the border and many others.