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Fuel And Surcharges

Uganda currency round up and effects on tourism

Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN  Nov 16, 2010

UGANDA (eTN) - Telltale signs emerged when Warid Telecom opened the door to further tariff cuts, having initiated the current price wars with their 5 Uganda shillings offer some weeks ago, before Celtel/Zain then pulled one over the entire industry by aggressively promoting a 3 Uganda shillings tariff per second, something most other operators now followed. However, across the border in Kenya, the lowest call rate is standing at about the equivalent of 81 Uganda shillings at present, leaving considerable room for yet more marketing stunts ‚Äď all expected to kick in when Celtel/Zain rebrands to Bharti Airtel in due course.

Meanwhile, the Uganda shillings have fallen to a low of 2,300 Uganda shillings versus one US dollar, before the Bank of Uganda briefly intervened last week to halt a more rapid slide of the local currency. However, the continued weakness of the US dollar, attributed in part to repatriation of financial investments ahead of the February 2011 elections, will also impact on the cost of fuels. While the prices per liter of petrol has come down for an average high of 3,500 Uganda shillings a few weeks ago to just over 3,050 shillings in average, this is expected to reverse again in coming weeks should the international spot market price for crude oil remain high and the shilling slide further.

International airlines flying to Entebbe have also given early warning that their fuel surcharges will be reviewed upwards as a result of persistently high crude oil prices, which means that the net fares advertised by airlines will see yet higher add ons again and some intending travelers from Uganda to foreign lands will have to dig deeper in their pockets to find enough shillings to pay for this all.

That all said, the higher yield for their hard currency dollars and euros will keep the on-site costs for visiting tourist in check, something which should benefit and encourage greater spending in the destination.

Uganda currency round up and effects on tourism
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