General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, the senior presidential advisor for special operations, recently convened a meeting with tour operators in Entebbe. The purpose of this meeting was to deliberate on strategies and measures aimed at improving and invigorating the country’s tourism sector.
The gathering featured prominent tour operators, including Mr. Herbert Byaruhanga, Mr. Tony Mulinde, Ms. Jean Byamugisha, and Hon. Eddie Kwizera, who also serves as the Member of Parliament for Bufumbira County East. These operators, with their wealth of experience and expertise, had an opportunity to share their perspectives and insights on the future of Ugandan tourism.
One of the primary focuses of the discussion was the positioning of Uganda as a destination of excellence. The tour operators underscored the necessity of promoting the nation’s unique offerings and natural beauty to attract tourists from diverse source markets. Achieving this objective necessitates targeted marketing endeavors that showcase Uganda’s rich biodiversity and cultural heritage.
Furthermore, the tour operators stressed the significance of investing in training and capacity-building programs for individuals employed in the tourism industry. Enhancing the skills and knowledge of these professionals is crucial to ensure a high standard of service and an enriching experience for visitors.
To address potential challenges, the operators advocated for the establishment of a dedicated crisis management team within the tourism sector. Such a team would be instrumental in efficiently handling emergencies and incidents, minimizing their impact on the industry.
Recognizing the potential of tourism as a substantial source of employment for Uganda’s youth, the operators suggested initiatives that could encourage their active participation. These initiatives encompass internship programs, skill development opportunities, and support for entrepreneurship in the sector.
Nonetheless, the operators expressed concerns regarding taxation policies affecting the hotel industry. They proposed a review of these policies, with the aim of making them more favorable for hotel operators. This revision could promote investment and growth within the sector.
Financial challenges in marketing efforts were also addressed during the meeting. The operators highlighted the need for increased government funding and support to effectively market Uganda as a tourism destination, both domestically and internationally.