WAKISO – Plans are underway to run Uganda’s tourism promotional adverts on CNN and other international media.
Ms Susan Muhwezi, the special presidential assistant on AGOA, was recently appointed to head a committee tasked to develop a programme to promote Uganda’s tourism potential outside the country.
At a meeting with the Vice President, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya and the Minister of State for Tourism, Mr Jovino Akaki, at Kakiri recently, several stakeholders in tourism agreed that Uganda needed to invest heavily in promoting itself abroad. population.
“We should hire a professional international agency to sell our country,” Muhwezi said.
This is an enormous cost, as the country would have to spend several billion of shillings. For example it was revealed, during the meeting, that the recent Discovery Channel documentary on Uganda cost Shs 400 million for a two-week shooting, after being subsidised.
In comparison, the annual budget of the Uganda Tourist Board is only Shs 300million. However, the stakeholders agreed that bearing the cost is the only way Uganda could revamp its tourism sector to realise its enormous potential.
“We cannot continue talking about potential because we can’t eat potential, we have to realise the potential. Government has now made tourism a priority sector and it is you to guide us on how to realise this,” Bukenya told the stakeholders.
Uganda pulled out of the World Tourism Organisation 10 years ago because of an annual fee of $20,000. Prof. Thone Wolfgang, president of Uganda Tourism Association, said rejoining the WTO would enable Uganda access financial support and opportunities for skill development.
Akaki said in the last ten years, Uganda’s tourism had grown at a rate of 21 percent.