Tourism association set to get secretariat
Posted Monday, October 7 2013 at 01:00
Kampala- The Uganda Tourism Association (UTA), the apex body of players in the industry, is set to get a secretariat that will help propel the sector’s growth.
Speaking shortly after being elected UTA president for a two-year term in Kampala recently, Mr Herbert Byaruhanga, Bird Uganda Safaris managing director, said Uganda’s tourism sector has potential to grow two-fold if a few challenges that suppress it are addressed.
Among the key issues that the secretariat will be charged with include coordinating association activities, developing innovative and diversified products to help propel growth of the sector.
Mr Byaruhanga, plans to change people’s mindsets about the sector, growing domestic tourism as well as skills development through training. He also intends to strengthen partnership and increase dialogue with government so as to devise solutions to the numerous challenges constraining the sector from realising its full potential.
Among the challenges that face the sector include poor infrastructure connecting to tourism sites and branding of the country’s immense tourism potential in key source markets.
Despite the numerous challenges affecting the sector, the sector fetched the country $1 billion (about Shs2.7 trillion) in revenue last year, up from$805 million (about Shs2 trillion) the previous year, according to the World Bank 2012 Economic and statistical analysis of Tourism in Uganda.
However, the direct impact of tourism expenditures in East Africa is lowest in Uganda, amounting to 3.7 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2012, compared to Tanzania’s 4.8 per cent, and Kenya’s 5 per cent.
Ms Barbra Adoso, the owner Asyanut Safaris and Incentives, was elected vice president, Ms Helen Lubowa, the Uganda Community Tourism Association executive director was elected secretary while Mr Divyang Patel, Travel Manager, Swift Freight was elected treasurer.