Tourists last month canceled bookings after an Ebola case was reported in Kasese District.
Joseph Halim, the Managing director of Dream Balloons, which operates in
Murchison Falls National Park, says that the Ebola scare had caused some
tourists to cancel their bookings.
He added, however, that the industry had hoped for some crisis level
cancellations but government handled the Ebola issue well, providing assurances
to tourists that all is well.
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The Ebola case was reported in Uganda on June 11, 2019 after a 5-year-old
boy who traveled from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with his mother
on 9th June 2019 after attending a burial of the grandfather who had succumbed
to the disease.
Government had been preparing to handle any cases that may come. However no more cases
have been reported in Uganda since then, but nonetheless, the impact on the
tourism industry had been made.
It is not yet clear how many cancellations have been made so far across the
industry but players say this year has not been good.
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Dream Balloons runs hot air balloons operations in Murchison
Falls National Park.
A hot air balloon is a lighter-than-air aircraft consisting of a
bag, called an envelope, which contains heated air. Suspended beneath is a
gondola or wicker basket, which carries passengers and a source of heat. It
flies over a park and passengers are able to see the animals and vegetation
from the air.
Uganda received approximately 1.4 million visitors last year but about 200,000
went ahead to visit the national parks, according to government reports.