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Uganda’s Tourism Industry Reaches $1 Billion in Earnings

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Uganda’s tourism sector is experiencing a remarkable resurgence, with earnings soaring to $1.025 billion in 2023, marking a significant rebound of 83.4 percent from the pre-Covid levels. This surge is propelled by a substantial increase in tourist arrivals, as outlined in the latest Tourism Trend and Statistics Report for 2024 released on Tuesday.Uganda’s Tourism Industry Reaches $1 Billion in Earnings

The report attributes the resurgence to a surge in arrivals from both African countries and key overseas markets, including the United Kingdom, United States of America, and India. Over the past three years, Uganda has intensified its marketing efforts, particularly targeting destinations in southern and western Africa.

Uganda Airlines has also played a pivotal role in boosting tourism, expanding its African network with new routes. Despite facing challenges, Kenya, Rwanda, and South Sudan retained their positions as Uganda’s largest African source markets, collectively contributing 80 percent of all arrivals on the continent in 2023.Uganda’s Tourism Industry Reaches $1 Billion in Earnings

Doreen Katusiime, the Tourism Permanent Secretary, expressed optimism about the industry’s recovery, citing a remarkable increase in international arrivals, which have surged to 82.6 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

Domestic tourism has also witnessed a notable uptick, with a 25.3 percent increase in Ugandans visiting national parks and recreational centers. Tourism remains a crucial sector for Uganda, contributing approximately 4.7 percent to the country’s GDP and employing over 620,000 people directly or indirectly.

Also, read: Houston Man Sentenced for Impersonating Bishop and Deceiving 10 Women Into Marrying HimUganda

However, industry stakeholders emphasize the need for increased government funding to sustain this growth trajectory. The government’s decision to slash the tourism budget for the fiscal year 2023/2024 has raised concerns among industry players, who argue that adequate funding is essential for site maintenance, international marketing, and the development of new tourism products.

Globally, the tourism sector is witnessing a gradual recovery, with Asia and Africa leading the resurgence. Preliminary estimates from the World Tourism Organization indicate that international tourism receipts reached $1.4 trillion in 2023, representing 93 percent of the earnings recorded in 2019. If the current growth trend persists, Uganda’s tourism revenues are poised to surpass pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024.

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