What you need to know:
- Kampala, which is measured as a separate region from central registered the highest occupancy rate followed by eastern and Western regions, respectively
A report by Ministry of Tourism has indicated that central and western Uganda have the lowest rate of hotel occupancy compared to other regions in the country.
The details, which are contained in the Tourism Development Programme Annual Performance Report for the 2022/23 financial year, indicate that contrary to wide belief, the lowest hotel occupancy rates were recorded in the central and western regions.
For instance, the report noted that during 2022 the central and western regions both registered an occupancy rate of 33.8 percent.
Kampala is rated as an independent region, which might explain the low occupancy levels in the central region.
Kampala has the highest occupancy of 61.4 percent, followed by eastern at 50.2 percent, while northern registered an occupancy rate of 48.5 percent.
The above occupancy, the report noted, returned an average occupancy of 46.9 percent in 2022, which was an improvement from the 33 percent registered in 2021.
The report also shows that Covid-19 largely impacted occupancy, which had peaked to 51.9 percent, but dropped sharply to 20.1 percent in 2021.
“In 2022, the peak of hotel occupancy was observed in the Kampala region, reaching a substantial 61.4 percent. Following closely was eastern and northern regions, reporting occupancy of 50.2 percent and 48.5 percent, respectively. On the contrary, the lowest occupancy rates were recorded in central and western regions, both standing at 33.8 percent,” the report reads in part.
The report, however, does not explain the variance in occupancy rates.
A report by the World Bank recently indicated that high-quality hotels are heavily concentrated in Kampala, with the capital city having 60 percent of Uganda’s five-star hotels.
The city also holds 64 percent of the country’s four-star hotels, while 42 percent of the three-star hotels are also found in Kampala.
Other hotels are found throughout the country, but the report noted are less diverse because, unlike the ones in Kampala, they lack amenities.
Hotel occupancy, according to the Tourism Development Programme, had to the three years leading to 2019 registered sustained growth but suffered under Covid-19, dropping to 20.1 percent due to global travel restriction and a sharp reduction in tourism arrivals.
For instance, during the year ended 2017, occupancy rates had increased to 46.4 percent, before further growing to 50.9 percent and 51.9 percent in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
Regional occupancy rates