After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that left the tourism industry crippled with low revenues and an affected economy, Uganda has not lost all the hope about this year’s tourism performance.
Before the pandemic tourists’ growth was predicted by the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities to increase to 1,663,568 visitors in 2020. But in March 2020, the COVID -19 landfall badly impacted the tourism industry.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Uganda Tourism Board Lilly Ajarova, the sector has still not lost hope because in the last half of 2020 when the travel restrictions were relaxed, they saw a significant uplift in domestic tourism as Ugandans took to the road.
“We understand that some hotels, especially those upcountry, receive above-industry occupancy levels and to us that has been a great learning curve and a justification for our renewed strategy that seeks to balance the attention between overseas visitors with domestic regional and Intra Africa Travelers”
Speaking today at the Kampala Golf Club Ajarova where UTB unveiled athlete Joshua Cheptegei as its brand ambassador, Ajararova thanked all Ugandan travers who made an effort to travel during the difficult seasons.
“We continue to encourage you to gravel and, on our part, we commit to leverage the lessons and insights learned from this pandemic to further make domestic travel more enriching and worthwhile” she said.
Ajarova also added that they have been undertaking several initiatives like putting in place safe standard operating procedures for the sector, to ensure the safe reopening of the sector, they have been working with UNDP to create awareness about opportunities for domestic travel like take on the pearl.