Challenges Facing Tourism in Uganda – Uganda Safaris
Challenges facing tourism in Uganda are the obstacles that flourish tourism industry in Uganda. Yet, tourism is one of the leading revenue earners to the economy of Uganda that contributes more than 7.3% of the economy’s development. Above all, Uganda as a country is gifted by scenic nature and with high concentration of wildlife including the main selling species of Mountain gorillas, lakes and Rivers, mountains, forest, cultural, religious and historical site many more. More so, Sir Winston Churchill named Uganda as ‘’The pearl of Africa ‘’ for its beauty and natural resources most of which are not developed despite the energy put in. Tourists who visit Uganda safaris have chances of participating in a lot of activities that have been existing over decades and have impacted a lot on Uganda’s economy such as Incredible mountain gorilla trekking, game viewing, chimpanzee tracking, Lion tracking, bird watching, Rhino tracking, white water rafting, mountain climbing, bungee jumping, nature walks, cultural encounter, City tours, Visiting historical sites many more.
In spite the fact that, Uganda’s tourism thrives on selling or marketing both locally and globally on social media in order to rank its wildlife species and other attractions such as scenic landscapes, people and culture, historical, cultural and religious sites many more. Wildlife in Uganda are protected in different national parks and reserves all over the country managed and regulated by ‘’UWA’’ Uganda Wildlife Authority. Such outstanding Uganda’s national park where tourists visit on their vacations or holidays include ;Murchison Falls national park ,Kidepo Valley national park , Queen Elizabeth national park ,Mgahinga Gorilla National Park , Kibale Forest National Park ,Lake Mburo National Park ,Semuliki National Park ,Mount Rwenzori National Park ,Mount Elgon National Park .All these national park are not only home for wildlife but also a number of other attractions that include plant life and waterfalls many others.
Due to the challenges Uganda’s tourism face have contributed to the slow pace of development of the tourism industry to its expected level, and numerous thus affecting various aspects of the tourism industry.
Below are the prominent challenges or problems tourism facing in Uganda;
Limited marketing; Uganda once called ‘’The Pearl of Africa’’ and gifted by beautiful nature with lots of tourist attractions that could satisfy any tourist expectations of African safari and Uganda is known worldwide for its diverse wildlife species and favorable weather condition. However, the ‘’UTB’’ Uganda Tourism Board has tried its level best to market Uganda to the world in different several international tourism expos and big events.
Poor Infrastructure Development; Uganda’s economy is still lacking well developed infrastructure /roads most especially in parts where the protected area exists and other tourist’s sites. Number of roads that runs to Uganda’s national parks some are impassible during the rainy season, hence resulting in less number of visitors visiting during the wet season. More so, roads that lead tourists to accommodations in protected areas are not up to date, especially when compared to her neighbors who offers better roads and accommodation to their tourists.
Poor service delivery; This is one of the challenges tourism in Uganda faces which is poor service delivery in some of the lodges, hotels, restaurants and various areas where tourists visit such as the Forex bureaus and other areas. Poor service delivery cause visitors to look for other destination options. Meaning most times, it attributes to employment of unskilled personnel.
Operational problem; It is also noted that some tour and travel companies are a cause of some of challenges the country faces in tourism. To some tour companies are not capable enough to handle safaris with some tour companies which are not licensed to operate. These unlicensed tour operators even defraud client’s money which is a bad picture they are showing to the world thus affecting Uganda’s tourism.
Limited Information; There are no much information available for travelers to familiarize themselves with many attractions that Uganda has to offer for them to think of planning a Uganda Safari. But instead are referred to other countries with much destination information.
Poaching; This is one of the most dangerous challenges tourism in Uganda facing despite the much efforts put in place by the ‘’UWA’’ Uganda Wildlife Authority and the government who puts up very strong laws that apply to anyone found poaching in the national parks and other touristic areas. Due to poaching done in the national park has totally led to a reduction of wildlife mostly the mountain gorillas are on high risk of being poached and other species which get extinct thus negatively affecting tourism in Uganda.
Natural calamities; They include floods, diseases and storms are some of the challenges facing tourism in Uganda. The natural calamities take way the life of wildlife species of the country, like the lightening that struck dead about 3 gorillas in Mgahinga Gorilla National Park. The threat of Ebola virus in the western side of Uganda created fear in loss of animals especially the primates like mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest national park and chimpanzees in Kibale Forest National Park. Plus, the currently Covid-19 pandemic which has affected the world at large and tourism inflow hence reducing the number of tourists on Uganda Safari Destination.
Stiff Competition; There is stiff competition Uganda’s tourism faces and this is due to same safari packages with her neighbors especially Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda who market the same products that are on sell in Uganda.
How to improve tourism in Uganda –Strategies
The challenges the Uganda’s tourism facing are clearly mentioned and there is urgent need to address them in order to the Uganda tourism industry flourish and competing favorably with her neighbors. However, there has been great effort made by different tourism stakeholders to improve tourism in Uganda. Below are some of the strategies put in place to improve tourism hub in Uganda as follows;
Extensive marketing; The extensive marking is extremely important to Uganda as a destination in a way that, if the board member or tour operator try narrow the information and knowledge gap. This will increase the awareness and knowledge with media companies like the BBC and CNN to increase awareness of Uganda destination.
Government funding to the tourism sector should be an impact to develop on infrastructure and improve services as well as marketing the country to the world.
Training of service providers. This should be done to improve on errors done by service providers who do not know how to handle clients.
Diversification of tourist’s products that Uganda sells, this could widen the range of activities tourists do while on a Uganda Safari.
The challenges facing tourism in Uganda can be worked on, by improving the tourism industry in the country as well as generating more revenue for the government and also providing various beneficiaries of the tourism industry. To engage in some of Uganda’s remarkable tourist activities, we recommend you to book with a reputable tour operator to help you in arranging for you quite unforgettable Uganda Safaris.