The President of Uganda HE. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni recently had a meeting with the Chief Executive Officer of the Uganda Tourism Board Lily Ajarova. The meeting was also attended by Suzan Muhwezi, who represented Uganda Tourism Board members.
In the meeting, Ajarova briefed the president on the state of the tourism sector during the Covid-19 pandemic. She said tourism sites in the country registered a 77 per cent decline in volumes due to Covid-19.
The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) states that the international tourist arrivals fell by 81 per cent in July and 79 per cent in August 2020 compared to 2019.
In late October, they estimated a fall in international arrivals of roughly 70 per cent for 2020. This presents a serious threat to the tourism industry since it contributes substantial revenues to Uganda’s economy.
Covid-19 is having a devastating effect on the global economy and for Uganda as a developing country, tourism is the most affected sector.
Tourism employs a growing number of workers. Around 270,000 people are directly employed in the sector and around 400,000 people indirectly, together accounting for about 6.7 per cent of the national employment.
Government should invest more in protected areas and promote sustainable tourism for a quick economic recovery strategy during and post-Covid-19.
Investments from both government and private sources should then support things like paying rangers to stop poachers and human encroachment, creating infrastructure such as access roads, trails and visitors’ centres, among others.
Ms. Shadia Nakazibwe,
Program Assistant Environment Governance Institute