Uganda’s tourism sector is projected to lose nearly Shs 6 trillion in revenue over the course of the year due to Covid-19 pandemic.
This was revealed by the the state minister for Tourism, Godfrey Ssubi Kiwanda while speaking to the reporters at the Uganda Media Centre.
Kiwanda said government plans to promote local tourism as a way of ensuring sustainability.
“We have lost a full financial year and that’s between $1.6 billion to $ 2 billion according to our projection,”said Kiwanda.
He said since the government is set to re-open Entebbe international Airport, the move will help to kick start the recovery of the tourism sector.
“I want to call upon those [tourists] who had paid to come here that they should not cancel their bookings. We have already come with up with SOPs in our national parks,”he said.
He said the ministry has launched guidelines for the tourism industry and currently the sector is on a nationwide campaign to sensitise and ensure compliance.
As the country heads to 2021 general elections, Kiwanda urged politicians to only speak goods things about Uganda as one way of promoting tourism.
“As tourism, we are cognisant of the tensions this period creates. We urge all contestants and the voters to maintain peace, law and order and not to let differences in opinion bitterly divide our society,”he said.
Kiwanda noted that tourism only thrives during peace.
Kiwanda said the beauty of Uganda is best exemplified in the countryside by the fresh, undisturbed eco systems where the people live in harmony with nature.
He said tourism provides the economic justification to protect the resources from degradation and encroachment.