Domestic tourism starts to take shape

Saturday July 25 2020
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The head of European delegation in Uganda, Attilio Pacific hands over simama ranger outpost to Minister of Tourism Tom Butime

Despite the continued closure of airports due to Covid-19 pandemic, domestic tourism has started taking shape in the new normal as sector gets reopened, authorities have said.

Mr Tom Butime, the Tourism minister said those who had booked earlier can now start planning their visits.
"There are those who have been in Uganda who had planned and booked to visit our tourism sites but Covid-19 came in and they could not. There is now an opening where those who had booked can now go to the protected areas and national parks," Mr Butime said.

Mr Butime revealed that on Wednesday, 260 tourist were received at one of the entry points of Queen Elizabeth National park which he termed as an explosion.
"We anticipate and hope and we will work very hard that the airports soon or later get opened so that we start receiving all other tourists who had booked," he added.
According to the Annual Tourism Sector Performance Report for Financial Year 2018/2019, the revenue rose from $1.45b (Shs5.3 trillion) in the 2017 financial year. The report indicates that a number of tourists last year reached 1,505,669, up from 1,402,409 in 2017.

The report says the sector accounted for 7.7 per cent of the national GDP and 6.7 per cent of total national employment after creating 667,600 jobs
Most of the tour guides at Queen Elizabeth national park said over the past months during lockdown, there has been no business.

natukundanobert@ug .nation