KAMPALA– The ministry of Tourism and its agencies including the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) have been tasked to pull up their socks if the country is to continue doing well on the global charts in terms of having some of the world’s tourism hotspots.
The remarks were made by Mr. Alain St. Ange, the Seychelles former minister of Tourism who was the keynote speaker at a stakeholders’ breakfast meeting at Serena Conference Centre in Kampala on Thursday, December 6.
Uganda must rise up, he said, tasking the line ministries to wake up from the slumber and develop a new strategy for international visibility of the country.
“Sell Uganda to the world. Don’t expect the world to know about the beautiful country without informing the world. You must tell the world about Uganda,” he affirmed.
“When I was coming to Uganda, I took the trouble to Google Uganda to see what comes up. Every bad thing that Uganda could do appears on the net [internet]. Everything that shows the bad side of Uganda shows up. The good things don’t show up,” he said, sending the crowd into laughter.
He also noted that the Tourism ministry should take the advantage of the expansion of Entebbe International Airport and other regional fields; which officials during the same meeting revealed that there will be an increase in passengers from 2 million to 3.5 million.
“These are key steps forward and Uganda must celebrate,” he noted, adding: “If you don’t market Uganda as a key tourism destination, the new airport would not help much in the development of the aviation industry. The hospitality is important too.”
Uganda has the biggest lake but we only hear about it when there a boat cruise accident. Tourism should do their jobs. The key unique selling points of Uganda are not top in the search rankings.
Minister of Works and Transport Hon. Monica Ntege Azuba who presided over the event applauded St. Ange and promised that government will engage him in a drive to sell Uganda.
“We have appointed marketing people in the US and Europe to market Uganda abroad. Next year, the government will appoint others in China and the Middle East,” Minister Azuba said.
This comes a day after US-based National Geographic Travelers magazine named Uganda one of the top 4 cool travel destinations in Africa and 16 in the world according to the new travel rankings of 2019.