The Chairman of Uganda Tourism Association, Amos Wekesa has urged Uganda to take the country’s tourism sector more seriously because tourism is capable contributing heavily to Uganda’s economic growth.
While speaking to participants in the Traditional Trade Facilitation expo 2010 organised by the Private Sector Foundation, Wekesa said Uganda has great bio diversity and other superior natural endowments but which have not been optimally utilized to get as much income as possible from such endowments.
Wekesa says for example Uganda has 0.18% of the world’s mass, 10.2% of the world’s birds’ species with more birds per square kilometer than any other country in Africa, 6.8 of the world’s butterfly species and 7.5% of the world’s mammals. Uganda also has the highest density of primate species like chimpanzees, olive baboons than any other country in the world.
He says however it is disappointing that Uganda earns only about $800 million dollars per annum from tourism with such rich bio diversity and tourism attractions.
Wekesa says Uganda should take the example of Costa Rica which is only 1/5 the size of Uganda but earns over 1 billion dollars from its tourism sector and receives over I million tourists every year just because its government has powerful and comprehensive framework designed to ensure sustainable use of its bio diversity and effectively engaged its people to ensure that they understand the importance of protecting that bio diversity.
He says if Uganda can take the example of Costa Rica then the tourism industry will shoot to heights it has never reached before.
By Tiberindwa Zakaria, Ultimate Media