Problems facing tourism in Uganda
Problems facing tourism in Uganda are some of the hindrances to the growth of tourism in Uganda whereby they tend to lower the ability to sell wildlife resources. Tourism in Uganda is one of the sectors which has greatly contributed to the development of the country. There are a variety of attractions around Uganda and they include national parks and wildlife reserves, lakes and rivers, forests, cultural attractions, religious attractions and many others.
National parks in Uganda include Murchison falls national park, Kibale National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Kidepo Valley National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Semliki National Park, Mgahinga National Park, Rwenzori Mountain National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Mount Elgon National Park.
Tourists visiting Uganda engage in a variety of activities such as gorilla trekking, chimpanzee tracking, game drives, hiking, nature walks, boat rides, canoeing, cultural visits, mountain climbing, birding, rafting, and many other activities.
The tourism industry in Uganda has been growing steadily over the years and many other destinations within the country have developed in terms of tourist attractions such as hotels and roads leading to tourist destinations.
People living in Uganda have benefited from the tourism industry in terms of employment, investment and foreign exchange. This industry also acts as a source of income to people who live around the attractions who benefit directly or indirectly from tourism ventures in their communities.
The benefits of tourism in Uganda are shared with the community living around the different destinations in Uganda to encourage tourism initiatives in the local communities and to involve the locals in different activities.
The government of Uganda has played an important role in promoting tourism by putting in place conservation policies, discouraging poaching and generally promoting peace and security within the country to make the destination safe for tourists and to promote responsible tourism.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority is in charge of managing the national parks and reserves and promoting conservation of wildlife in destinations around Uganda. This organization also formulates rules and regulations for tourists to follow as they engage in different tourist activities around Uganda.
Problems facing tourism in Uganda
Following the growth of the tourism industry in this country, the government has put in efforts to promote tourism in Uganda. However, there are challenges facing the tourism industry in Uganda and they include the following;
- Limited marketing makes it difficult for the tourists to get information about Uganda as a destination which leads to a few tourists visiting the country as a result of being ignorant about Uganda as a destination with tourist attraction sites.
- High competition from neighboring countries is attributed to other destinations having similar products and all fighting to increase their market share in tourism. This has greatly challenged tourism in Uganda since other destinations market themselves more and are sometimes more known to the tourists than Uganda.
- Poor service delivery in the tourism industry greatly impacts the tourists negatively and this gives them a bad image of Uganda as a tourist destination. This leads to a few recommendations to other potential tourists hence reducing the number of tourists visiting Uganda.
- Unlicensed tour and travel companies make service delivery in the tourism industry difficult due to the high risks involved in dealing with unlicensed companies such as fraud and overcharging clients. This also gives a negative image of Uganda as a country to the rest of the world.
- Unskilled labor such as guides, interpreters, drivers, receptionists and other service providers in the tourism industry leads to poor service delivery to the tourists which leads to dissatisfaction of the tourists and this creates a negative image of Uganda as a tourist destination.
- Limited information about tourist destinations in Uganda limits the range of tourist activity in the country since the tourists are not aware of the different tourist attractions and they don’t have all the necessary information about Uganda as a destination they would wish to visit.
- Underdeveloped infrastructure such as roads that lead to the tourist attraction sites around Uganda makes it difficult for the tourists to access the sites and engage in different tourist activities hence limiting tourist activity in the country.
- Poaching is among the illegal practices which have affected the tourism industry in that this has led to a reduction in the number of wildlife species within the national parks around Uganda. Many different wildlife species are affected by poaching which has led to the extinction of some animal species in the national parks hence affecting the tourism industry.
Strategies to improve the Tourism Sector in Uganda
Many efforts have been put in place by different stakeholders and governments to improve the tourism industry and increase the number of tourists visiting Uganda and promoting tourism in different destinations around Uganda.
Some of the strategies put in place to improve the tourism sector in Uganda include;
- Extensive marketing is a solution to increase tourism practices in Uganda as a way of widening the available information about Uganda to the rest of the world to increase awareness and to promote the country in order to compete favorably with the neighboring countries.
- Allocating more funds to the tourism sector by the government leads to the improvement of facilities and infrastructure used by the tourists. These funds are used to improve services in the tourism sector.
- Training of the service providers in the tourism sector leads to improvement in service delivery hence leading to satisfaction of the clients as they engage in different activities as they explore destinations in Uganda.
- Partnering with the different media companies to increase awareness of the attraction sites in Uganda. This makes it easier for tourists to get information about Uganda as a destination form different media platforms.
- Diversification of tourist products widens the range of activities for tourists visiting Uganda which leads to different categories of tourists visiting the destinations around Uganda hence promoting tourism.
- Privatization of the tourism sector in Uganda leads to improved service provision and increased profitability within the tourism industry.
In conclusion, Uganda as a country has different tourist attraction sites and a variety of activities for tourists to enjoy and engage in as they explore the pearl of Africa and the benefits of the tourism industry can be increased by joint efforts from different stakeholders to promote tourism in this country.