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Entebbe Struggling To Increase Tourism Earnings

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James Musinguzi, the Executive Director Uganda Wild Life Education Center, says although the municipality doesnt earn directly from the sector, residents it benefit by providing good and services to sector players like UWEC.
Nanziri water falls, one of the tourists destinations located on Bukasa Island

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Entebbe municipality has been struggling to increase its earnings from the tourism sector for the past six years with limited investment and revenue from the central government. The municipality is home to Entebbe International airport, the main gateway into Uganda. 

The municipality also boasts of several tourism sites including the site for the first Parliament, a landing site where Loudel Simeone and Amans DE lamas, the first  missionaries docked before spreading the gospel in Uganda, a freedom tree where civil servants started their struggle for independence in 1954, Kabaka's Palace in Lunyo, State House and the Uganda Wild Life Education Center among others. 

The area is also the easiest gateway to several tourism destinations like Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary and the Nsirwe bird watching sanctuary in the Ssese Islands. However, most of the tourism sites in Entebbe municipality are not utilized and don't fetch the municipality any revenue. 

Richard Ssekyondo, the Deputy Mayor Entebbe Municipality, says 70% of the foreign tourists who come to Uganda stay in the municipality. He however, says government hasn't realised the potential of the tourism sector.

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John Ssempebwa, the Deputy Chief Executive Director, Uganda Tourism Board, says Uganda earns up to US$1.4 billion from the 1500 tourists who enter the country annually. Although 70 percent of these tourists stay in Entebbe, the municipality doesn't earn directly from them.

Apparently, the municipality only collects revenue from hotels in terms of hotel tax. In a bid to increase tourism earnings, the municipal authorities have organized a tourism festival for all Entebbe municipal dwellers as one way of boosting domestic tourism.

The Project Manager, Fred Kiryowa, says the festival will help promote all the tourism sites in the area and boost their earnings. 

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James Musinguzi, the Executive Director Uganda Wild Life Education Center, says although the municipality doesn't earn directly from the sector, residents benefit by providing good and services to sector players like UWEC.

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The Entebbe Municipal Development Foundation, the investment arm of the municipality is currently engaging several stakeholders to institute eco-tourism sites around the shoreline of Lake Victoria so as to attract more tourists to stay within the area. 

Also, the Uganda Wildlife Authority and the Uganda Tourism Board, the agency mandated to market Uganda's tourism potential across the country is currently lobbying international tourism agencies in countries like German, United Kingdom and the United States of America to help market Uganda's tourism potential. 

Barbara Kyomugasho, a Public Relations Officer in Uganda Wildlife Authority, says well as Wild life centers like UWEC receive several Ugandan tourists, there is still need to boost the number of foreign tourists.

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