The government planned to attract more one million tourists this year on top of the 1.8million people received in 2018. But the Central Bank says after ten months, only about 1.2 million tourists had entered Uganda.
Tourism earnings are estimated to have
grown slower in the first ten months of 2019, according to to the Central Bank.
The government planned to attract more one
million tourists this year on top of the 1.8million people received in 2018. But the Central Bank says after ten months, only about
1.2 million tourists had entered Uganda.
Early in the year, State Minister for Tourism Godfrey
Kiwanda said that the government was to increase marketing activities
by contracting three more public relations firms for Saudi Arabia, United Arab
Emirates, Japan and China markets. This, he reasoned, would greatly boost
Uganda’s tourism earnings have tipped USD 1.4 billion in 2017, making
the sector the
biggest forex exchange earner above coffee earnings and diaspora remittances. There was hope that this could only get better in subsequent years.
However, with the scare of Ebola cases reported in Kasese and
the international media reporting of surges in the Democratic Republic of Congo, many tourists choose to
halt or postpone their travels.
Joseph Halim, the
Managing director of Dream Balloons, which operates in Murchison Falls National
Park, told URN in July that the Ebola scare had caused some tourists to cancel
Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile
told reporters in Kampala on Monday that the slow pace of the sector was in tandem with the general
slowdown of the economic activities this year. He said they had observed a slowdown in the general
economic activity since the beginning of the year.
Mutebile said globally, major
economies, where tourists for Uganda come from, have slowed down. This means
few people were taking time for holidays.
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This year, Uganda started running the
national carrier – Uganda Airlines – as one way to boost tourism. The airline
now flies to more than seven destinations in the region. It is still too early
to gauge whether it has impacted tourism.
Mutebile, who read the monetary policy
statement for December, said in particular that
exports have fallen showing few people are consuming Ugandan products outside. This means that projected growth could
be lower than had been anticipated.
The governor maintained the Central Bank Rate, which shows the direction of interest rates, at 9 per cent for the second month
running, sending a message that the economy will not be so bad in the medium
Consequently, he expects banks to lend
more to businesses to boost investment and growth. The rate also is expected to
see banks relax on the pricing of their loans.