Tourism arrivals returning to pre-Covid-19 numbers 

Tourism arrivals are beginning to recover from the impact of Covid-19. Photo / File   

What you need to know:

  • The increase, according to the report, generated close to Shs2.7 trillion, representing 12.2 percent of total exports and 41.4 percent of service exports. 

A report by Ministry of Tourism has shown that the tourism sector is showing signs of a return to pre-Covid-19 period.  

The report, which was released yesterday noted that during 2022 there were about 814,508 international visitor arrivals recorded, which represented an increase of 59 percent from the -47.8 percent registered in 2021. 

The increase comes at a time after international arrivals had fallen sharply resulting from Covid-19 disruptions, which saw number decline to 473,085 in 2021 compared to close to 1.5 million pre-Covid-19.  

The increase, the report noted, generated close to Shs2.7 trillion, representing 12.2 percent of total exports and 41.4 percent of service exports. 

Accommodation, food and beverages, passenger transport and shopping, took the largest share of inbound expenditure, which stood at a combined 68.8 percent share. 

The report also indicates that international tourists stayed for an average 7.6 nights in the country resulting in a total of 6.5 million bed nights.  However, friends and relatives provided the largest share of accommodation, which stood at 33.5 percent. 

International visitors, the report notes, spent 10 times more per day compared to domestic visitors. 

Of the 783,188 tourists, 96.7 percent were tourists while 3.8 percent were visitors or excursionists.

The report also indicates that Africa remained the largest source of Uganda’s tourists, contributing at least 87.8 percent of international arrivals. 

Europe and America dropped to third and fourth position, respectively, while Asia took up second spot, contributing 4.9 percent of arrivals.  Kenya was the largest source, contributing 376,294 arrivals, Rwanda contributed 158,523. South Sudan, Tanzania and Eritrea contributed 59,602, 26,932 26,524, respectively. During the period, the report shows, Rwanda registered the most improved arrivals, followed by Australia, Ghana and Somalia.

Mr Basil Ajer, the Ministry of Tourism director tourism, said Uganda had done well in terms of marketing, which saw international visitors return to Uganda.

“We rolled out the Uganda brand and explore Uganda in Kenya, US, Spain, UK, Morocco and Tanzania which brought back these people,” he said.