What you need to know:
- Many of Uganda's five, four and three-star hotels are concentrated in Kampala, according to the World Bank
A World Bank report has indicated that high-quality hotels are heavily concentrated in Kampala, with the capital city having 60 percent of Uganda’s five-star hotels.
Kampala, the report further indicates, also holds 64 percent of the country’s four-star hotels.
The World Bank, in its June 21st Edition of the Uganda Economic Update, further notes that 42 percent of Uganda’s three-star hotels are still found in Kampala, which makes up country hotels unattractive tourists.
“Meanwhile, the more numerous zero, one and two-star hotels can be found throughout the country. Hotels and other accommodations are also less diverse outside of Kampala. For example, Fort Portal, which was designated Uganda’s first “Tourism City” in 2022 due to its strategic position near three national parks, the crater lakes, and significant heritage sites of the Tooro Kingdom, still lacks key amenities,” the World Bank said, noting that Fort Portal has only 2 percent of the country’s four-star hotels and no five-star.
Similarly, Kasese, which is the last stop for most tourists heading to the Rwenzori Mountains, remains underdeveloped, with low-quality accommodation and hospitality products, which compels tourists to drive long distances from other towns to access activities in the mountains or their vicinity.
The World Bank report also reveals that only three of Uganda’s national parks - Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Murchison Falls and Queen Elizabeth National Park - have significant numbers of hotels rated three-star and above.
The limited pool of accommodations, the report notes, constrains the number and types of tourists who can be accommodated within the parks.
However, the report notes that during 2022, Uganda compared well with its competitors on measures of tourist satisfaction with hotel accommodations with three-star and four-star hotels satisfaction levels surpassing those of its peers, which highlights an important advantage for the country in the key source markets of UK, and US.
The report further noted that German and Dutch tourists tended to favour zero, one and two-star accommodations, while American and British tourists exhibited a more even distribution across categories, with a slight inclination towards four-star and five-star hotels while South Africans displayed the greatest affinity for luxury accommodations.
The World Bank also says just like in other sectors of the economy, firms in the tourism sector face serious skills gaps, financial constraints, inadequate access to technology, and regulatory issues.