By RACKARA EMMANUEL
Gulu – State Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities has noted that the “absurd poor roads, sub standard accomodation” are the major challenges frustrating tourism industry in Uganda.
The Minister highlighted this last month during the World Tourism Fay celebration held in Gulu town.
Mr. Godfrey Suubi Kiwanda told TND News in an interview that huge number of tourists have faced key challenges of sub standard infrastructures for a couple of centuries since most of them are situated at the country side where accessibility is a problem.
“It is estimated that, transport on average accounts for almost 40% of each trip fare,” he added.
Kiwanda cited Mugahinga and Bwindi national game parks as some of the tourist attraction sites with appalling roads which needs to be worked on.
He asked Gulu district and other districts in the country to plan, include in their budget for some of these roads that leads to the tourist areas so that they are graded.
“As ministry, we shall prioritize working on the roads, embarking on upgrading the quality of different hotels, classifying them interms of their services,” he noted.
He also emphasized the need to invest into accommodation since it’s another factor frustrating tourism and means should be hatched to build enough rooms.
“When accommodation becomes expensive to travellers it hurts and demoralises them, so many enormous hotels should be set up with numerous rooms,” he further added.
At the moment, Uganda Wildlife Authority is constructing relatively cheaper facilities at the game parks.
He, however urged fellow Ugandans to always market their country by creating a lot of awareness using the different social media platforms available.
According to a report by Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Uganda registered 1.5 million tourist arrivals in the year 2018 representing 7.4% growth from the arrivals registered in the previous years.
Tourism contributed 7.7% to the GDP (shs8 trillion) and USD 1.6 billion to Uganda’s export earnings and creating 667,600 jobs in the year under review, representing 6.7%.