Better infrastructure will make Uganda a tourism leader

Posted on March 26, 2014 08:50 am

Uganda has the elements to become one of Africa’s hottest tourist destinations. However, this cannot be achieved without better infrastructure and uptake of technology to drive the sector. Given the growth opportunities and potential of the country’s tourism market due to the growing demand for domestic and regional tourism makes Uganda a better option compared to its neighbors. There is need to emphasize the importance of infrastructure in the tourism industry and for more cooperation with other African countries. Uganda needs to have more and more infrastructure for the airports, airlines, and human resources for the development of tourism industry. In this context, the country needs to collaborate with other countries, including the East African member states. Last year I wrote how Uganda tourism potential has remained untapped.In recent years, Uganda has experienced positive interest with regard to inbound tourism and also from business communities.In aviation terms, a 50 per cent increase over the past decade in international arrivals signals a significant surge in passenger movement. With the demand for air travel expected to grow, there is an urgent need for Entebbe airport to increase capacity and upgrade current infrastructure as I had noted in post last year.One way for the country to achieve that is to bring together more airport operators, regulators, senior airline executives and key aviation stakeholders from across East African region and other African countries as a starting point.

Kampala as seen from Nakasero area of the city
Kampala as seen from Nakasero area of the city

Uganda’s booming aviation industry signals a strong demand for expertise and opportunities for investment from around Africa and other parts of the world. If those mandated to market the country offers networking opportunities for stakeholders in civil aviation and senior level tourism stakeholders, engage them in discussions, and peruse through successful case studies for tourism leaders to exchange ideas and collaborate in achieving greater success the Uganda tourism growth and expansion will be realised sooner rather than later.Me think that the airline industry is a dynamic business with a lot of future potential. Thanks to East African economic integration, the free flow of goods and information, as well as the free movement of people, has been well in place. All tourism initiatives are people-oriented and no player can afford to ignore them. I have always argued that open skies policy and the single aviation market will become a reality in the East African region only if there is a dynamic thinking among the key stakeholders especially the tourism sector. This, in fact, is likely to be driving factor for the development of Uganda. Entebbe airport has become a key destination for most foreign airlines and that has had a positive impact on tourism sector in the country. Uganda is a very popular place at the moment for tourist to visit and investors to invest as the oil industry nears its commercial stage.

Contador Harrison