Uganda’s tourism industry is set to receive a significant boost following the announcement that four airfields in some of its most iconic National Parks will shortly be able to handle international visitors.
As per a release, this expansion was announced during the country’s Peal of Africa Tourism Expo held in the capital city of Kampala. The government informed delegates that the new airfields in Kasese, Kidepo, Pakuba, and Kisoro will be upgraded, so visitors can quickly view the wildlife and avoid immigration facilities in Entebbe.
The move is a significant step towards the country’s goal of increasing tourism revenue and employment opportunities.
According to Lilly Ajarova, the CEO of the Uganda Tourism Board, “This year’s expo not only points to our recovery but also highlights to our readiness to host the tourism community once again. The expo has grown to become a signature event for Uganda’s tourism. That way, Uganda will receive more travelers, and its associated benefits included increased tourism revenue and employment.”
Uganda targets responsible and sustainable tourism, considering economic, social, and environmental impacts. The World Tourism Organisation has defined the country’s focus on sustainable tourism as tourism that addresses the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities. This approach promotes using recyclable materials and reducing waste while conserving the environment and respecting the host communities.
With the COVID-19 pandemic subsiding, Uganda’s visitor numbers have been bouncing back strongly in 2023, and numbers are expected to return to pre-pandemic levels next year. Currently, the country welcomes around 1.5 million visitors annually, contributing 7.7% to the country’s GDP.
Uganda is home to ten national parks, including the famous Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home to the endangered mountain gorillas. Visitors can also experience the source of the Nile, the world’s longest river, and explore the country’s rich cultural heritage, characterized by diverse ethnic groups, languages, and traditions.
The announcement of the new airfields has been welcomed by the country’s tourism industry, with many experts predicting a significant increase in visitor numbers. The announcement is seen as a “game changer” and has been ordered by the country’s President, Yoweri Museveni, as part of a new global tourism drive. The move will permit flights to come directly from locations such as Kenya, Dubai, or Europe, making it easier and more convenient for tourists to visit Uganda.
The Peal of Africa Tourism Expo has become a signature event for Uganda’s tourism. Around 150 exhibitors and 5000 trade buyers attended the four-day event, which showcases the country’s tourism industry. The expo highlights the country’s readiness to host the tourism community and is seen as a vital platform to promote Uganda’s unique attractions to the world.
Uganda’s new airfields in its national parks will undoubtedly significantly boost the country’s tourism industry. The move will make it easier and more convenient for tourists to visit the country and explore its natural wonders. By promoting sustainable and responsible tourism, Uganda is positioning itself as a must-visit destination for those looking to experience Africa’s incredible wildlife and natural beauty.