Tourist Arrivals Increased to 1.3m in 2014

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In short
Asiimwe revealed that the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has engaged three firms to market Uganda's tourism sector in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Australia and Switzerland.

Tourist arrivals into Uganda shot up from 600,000 in 2006 to 1.4m in 2014, according to figures revealed by a top official of the Uganda Tourism Board.
 
In an interview with URN, Steven Asiimwe, the Executive Director of the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), attributed the increment in tourist arrivals to political stability and improved infrastructural systems in the road and air transport sectors.
 
 "From 2006, we have seen an increase from 6000 to 1.3m arrivals in the last financial year meaning that we have had double the number of people coming to Uganda from 2006 to date. Even financially, money has been going up from USD 600,000 until the last financial when we brought in USD 1.4m.But we are targeting an exponential increase in the numbers. Our target has been at least 1.5m arrivals," Asiimwe said.
 
Asiimwe said more investments need to be injected into the tourism sector if Uganda is to tap into new markets in China, Korea, the Arabian Penisula, Europe and America.
 
"We have very good connectivity. We now have more than 22 airlines flying around Uganda. In terms of domestic tourism, there are now private domestic airlines flying. A case in point is the airfield in Kanungu-that is doing four flights a day. There is such a visibility that has come up in the last five years. We need to look to the East, China, Korea, Japan, Arabian Peninsula - that is a big catchment for tourist,"Asiimwe said.
 
Asiimwe revealed that the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has engaged three firms to market Uganda's tourism sector in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Australia and Switzerland.
 
He, however, noted that tourism arrivals were affected by the Ebola epidemic that hit West Africa and travel advisories due to terrorism.
Though government investments in tourism have shot up from USD 5,000 to USD 2m, Asiimwe said more funding is still needed.
 
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About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.