Why Uganda tourism is upbeat despite poor performance report

The Uganda Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities has reported a loss in revenue in the tourism sector during the first COVID-19 phase of 2020.

  1. The Permanent Secretary of the Uganda Ministry of Tourism submitted a report yesterday on the first 3 months of 2021.
  2. Basically, the report stated losses in almost all categories such as hotel occupancy, number of foreign visitors, and employment.
  3. It is the response to this report that is giving Uganda an optimistic outlook on the future.

This was contained in a report by Doreen Katusiime, the Permanent Secretary (PS) of the Uganda Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities on May 27, 2021, at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala titled “Performance of the Tourism Sector in 2020 and the first 3 months of 2021.”

In summary:

  • Annual foreign exchange earnings dropped by 73 percent to US$0.5 billion.
  • Foreign visitors dropped by 69.3 percent to 473,085.
  • Employment opportunities dropped by 70 percent to 160,980.
  • As of June 2020, hotel occupancy rates dropped from an average of 58 percent to as low as 5 percent with over 75 percent of hotel bookings (448,996) canceled causing a direct loss of US$ 320.8 million, an equivalent of UGX 1.19 trillion.

In response to the loss, the PS said that the Uganda government is working with the private sector and development partners undertook several interventions to resuscitate the sector as follows:

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