UGANDA GETS A NEW PLAN TO DEVELOP ITS TOURISM SECTOR
A new plan for improving Uganda’s tourism sector in a sustainable way has been launched by the Hon. Minister for tourism, wildlife and antiquities Maria Mutagamba in Mbale. The master plan was lunched during the celebrations to mark World tourism day in the eastern Uganda, at Maluku grounds in Mbale.
This plan is aimed at helping the ministry to identify and focus on addressing the key challenges that affect the growth of Uganda’s tourism sector ranging from intensification the rigid regime, promotion and capacity building and institutional management.
In her speech, the minister, emphasized that this will work if there is commitment between all sectors that work hand in hand in the development of Uganda tourism sector. She also added that the plan is not only centering on what is already massively popular like the wildlife such as gorilla attractions but it also focuses on the creation of regional tourism areas to devolve the harmonization and promotion of tourism in the key attraction areas like the agro-tourism, culture and faith based tourism.
Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Resident Representative also spoke on the event and assured that UN is dedicated to support the Uganda’s government in growing the tourism sector to transform Uganda sustainably. He was thankful to the government of Uganda who gave the UN a chance to work with them in the preparing the Tourism Master Plan and also the tourism policy which was lately approved by Cabinet.
He urged the government to fully participate in the tourism sector to ensure wholesome growth and development. He also said if the sector is handled in a proper way this will promote chances to development of the local economy and poverty eradication. In her remarks the Hon. Minister Maria Mutagamba said that it’s very important to engage the local population such as allowing them to participate educate and enhance local governance. There can be no real tourism development if such development damages in anyway she said’’.
She appreciated the people of Mbale who are already recognized the potential of tourism through the development of community based tourism activities such as the Imbalu festival which highlighted the exclusive culture of the region attracting both local and international tourists. Imbualu festivals takes places every year in the region.
She was so proud of the region that it was worth visiting due to the fact that it has thousands of waterfalls and a true tourism paradise with very beautiful scenery, strong cultural heritage and the delicate Eco system of the Elgon mountain. Mbale also hosted the first ever hot air balloon ride in Uganda and very many tourists, development agencies and the media where at the sight of celebrations to mark the World tourism Day 2014.
She urged the local leaders to use these opportunities and use them to attract more tourists in the region and also the entire country at large. She also asserted that tourism is the most significant economic sectors in the world currently. And tourism today accounts for over 9% of global gross domestic product (GDP) and one in every 11 jobs on the planet. When he was speaking the local council five chairperson Mr.Bernard Mujasi thanked the ministry for bringing the 2014 world tourism day celebrations to Mbale and urged the ministry to support all tourist attraction in the region