Local investors in the tourism industry want government to do more to promote Uganda as an A-list tourism destination in the world.
While speaking at the Giants Club Conservation and Tourism Investment Forum on Friday at the Lake Victoria Serena Resort in Kigo, Amos Wekesa, the proprietor of Great Lakes Safaris said more needs to be done to sell Uganda to the world.
“The government recently hired PR firms to market Uganda, and even in just one year, I am seeing some difference. However, we need consistence. Marketing a country takes years,” he said.
Wary of the growing gap between her and neighbours Kenya and Rwanda, government last year hired foreign companies to represent Uganda in three different markets; the North America (USA and Canada), English speaking Europe market specifically UK and Ireland, and the German speaking Europe ( Germany, Austria and Switzerland).
PHG consulting is representing Uganda in the North American market, Kamageo in English speaking Europe, while KPRN is representing Uganda in the German speaking world.
Praveen Moman, the founder of Volcanoes Safaries, who grew up in Uganda said the country should find a niche—such as the great apes, and make these animals the axis of marketing campaigns.
“Conservation has to be part of the economic mainstream. Conservation that sits aside is finished. We have chimpanzee parks. We have 14 forests with chimps; Kibale has a large number of chimps. Are we marketing this enough? Let us start with the great apes,” he reasoned.
Uganda is blessed with half of the population of mountain gorillas in the whole world.
At the forum, President Museveni launched a new framework for investing in the country’s protected area network. The move is expected to attract investors to develop facilities in the country’s wildlife area so as to attract more tourists to the country.