Local Tourism Takes a Wild Ride: Ugandans Rediscover Their Own Backyard

Tourism Fever Grips Uganda: Citizens Unleash Inner Explorers

Kampala Tours on a Sunday
PHOTO - Courtesy - In a surprising twist of events, it seems that the citizens of Uganda have uncovered a hidden treasure right under their noses - local tourism.
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Uganda is on the brink of becoming the land of touristic explorers, discovering that adventure isn’t just for the foreign passport holders. Who knew? The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities, in what could be called a stroke of genius, has revealed that Ugandans are increasingly taking interest in exploring their own country’s tourist sites. It’s almost as if they’ve just discovered that their backyard isn’t just for hanging laundry and barbecues.

Martin Mugarra, the State Minister for Tourism, triumphantly announced that the number of Ugandans gallivanting off to domestic tourist spots has skyrocketed over the past couple of years. Evidently, the allure of local attractions is now stronger than ever. Mugarra even went as far as comparing the pre-COVID era to a time when tourists were as rare as fish in a pot hole. Not anymore, it seems.

Reports indicate that this new national hobby of visiting local landmarks reached its peak around July 2023. The fact that people are willing to venture beyond their living room couches is being hailed as a positive sign for the tourism industry. Who would have thought?

Hold on to your safari hats, because the Uganda Museum is the new cool kid on the block. This place was so exclusive, it maintained an annual visitor cap of 55,000 people, kind of like an elite club for history buffs. But guess what? It decided to break free from its own shackles and added a cool 10,000 to its guest list. It’s safe to say that it’s the party capital of the local tourism scene.

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But wait, there’s more. Other tourist destinations are jumping on the bandwagon too, boasting about increased foot traffic as if they’ve won the lottery. With World Tourism Day fast approaching, the Minister encourages everyone to show off their newfound enthusiasm for local tourism. Apparently, this is the time to shine, folks.

This year’s grand tourism celebration is set to take place in the dazzling Hoima City, and they’re talking all about “Tourism and Green Investment.” Essentially, they want to make sure that while people are wandering around, they’re also planting trees or something. The Minister has this grand vision of Uganda becoming a hotspot on both local and international travel maps. Ambitious, isn’t it?

With more than 70 percent of visitors getting their kicks from nature and culture, Uganda’s tourism industry is stepping up its green game. Lilly Ajarova, the big cheese at the Uganda Tourism Board, made it clear that if they don’t take care of nature, their precious industry might just go kaput. It’s like saying, “Don’t kill the goose that lays the golden eggs; it’s bad for business.”

Ivan Tumuhimbise, the head honcho of the World Wildlife Fund in Uganda, is here to remind everyone that if they want animals to keep being photogenic for tourists, they need to protect their cribs. He’s talking habitats, folks. Turns out, animals need homes too.

Now, cue the mayor of Hoima City, Brian Kaboyo, who’s feeling all sorts of proud for snagging the hosting duties for World Tourism Day. He sees this as his city’s big moment in the spotlight. Apparently, they’ve even set up a conference to discuss tourism and business opportunities, as if to say, “Hey world, we’re more than just oil – we’ve got tourism game too!”


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