2018 Uganda’s Best Tourism Year Ever by UTB
Written by Lindah Nduwumwami on October 31, 2018
With about two more months to the close of the year, Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has declared 2018 as the country’s best tourism year ever. In the last 10 months according to the board, Uganda has received more visitors than it has ever had in any year in its history. “As I speak now, we have surpassed last year’s numbers by over 300,000 visitors,” announced John Ssempebwa, the Deputy CEO UTB. Uganda in 2017 registered 1.4million tourists according to Mr Ssempebwa yet this year, the number has already exceeded 1.7million. This year, he said, was also unique in terms of the percentage growth in the tourists. Last year, the number of tourists grew by only 88,000, compared to this year’s 300,000. On the continent, the UTB boss projects that by the end of the year, Uganda will be Africa’s 6th most visited nation, up from 10th position in 2016. Speaking Tuesday at the launch of this year’s Tulambule Christmas Tourism Campaign, Ssempebwa also declared that this year has been Uganda’s best in terms of local tourism. “For instance, this is the third academic term, and learners are in examination period, but we have four vans here to visit the National Museum,” he said. Commenting in the Tulambule campaign, Mr Ssempebwa called upon Ugandans to embrace local tourism, which he said is currently undergoing rapid expansion.
“We have new investments in the sector; we have more hotels and more places to party which are open for business,” He said. On his part, the State Minister for Tourism Hon. Godfrey Kiwanda Ssuubi told reporters at the campaign launch that his ministry and the various government agencies are aggressively pursuing President Yoweri Museveni’s directive to have at least 4million tourists coming into Uganda by the year 2020. This, he said, can only be achieved through such campaigns and through aggressive marketing of the country. The ministry is currently running four different marketing campaigns, namely; the Tulambule Tourism campaign which is geared towards encouraging local tourists; Twende Uganda, which is targeting tourists from the East African region; Destination Uganda which is targeting tourists from the rest of Africa; as well as the Pearl of Africa Tourism campaign which is meant for tourists beyond the African continent. Ahead of the Tulambule Christmas campaign, a number of government stakeholders during the campaign launch expressed preparedness to host Ugandan tourists. Kampala Capital City Authority officials said by Christmas, the capital city will be sparkling clean and safer. “We shall deploy more people to ensure that drainages are de-clogged, streets are swept and the street lights are on,” said Ambrose Atwoko the KCCA Deputy Director Social Services. He added that the Authority will also be working with the Ministry of Health to ensure preparedness of its medical teams to meet the demands of the festive season. Meanwhile, the Commander Tourism Police, CP Frank Mwesigwa said his unit will be on standby to secure all tourists at the various destinations, and also called upon members of the Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO) to coordinate with him.