New Tourism Law Needs Enactment
Uganda tourism needs marketing funding to succeed
UGANDA (eTN) - The chief executive of Tourism Uganda, aka the Uganda Tourist Board (UTB), Mr. Cuthbert Baguma, has on the occasion of World Tourism Day once again decried the absence of decent funding for the country’s premier tourism marketing and promotion body UTB. However, this situation is not new, having persisted for the past 15 years, due to the lack of sustained follow up. After delegates of sponsored conferences left the country, interest evaporated swiftly as TV screens around the world showed other destinations.
The new tourism law provides for the funding of several components of the sector, like promotion, training, and related work through a levy, but squabbles over the question who collects, who receives, and who controls these funds have prevented the levy from being formally introduced.
Even the old laws creating the tourist board and the national hotel training institute in 1994 had provisions for such funding, but again, because of sustained arguments over the control and the collection points, these opportunities were left idle, denying the Uganda Tourist Board and HTTI much needed funds for development, training, and promotional activities at home, in the region, and around the globe.
This correspondent had several years ago already pegged the minimum annual budget at US$1.5 million, a figure which needs substantial improvement now considering the level of funding for instance for Uganda’s main competitors like Rwanda, Kenya, or further abroad South Africa, which are funding wise in a different league altogether, and their successes speak volumes, of course.