The government of Uganda is looking to harness IT to boost a tourism sector whose full potential is yet to be realized.
“The government of Uganda shall use IT tools to project a positive image of Uganda’s culture, natural resources and heritage,” Uganda’s new draft IT policy reads.
The draft calls for stronger infrastructure to enable networked airline, transport and hotel reservations, as well as Internet connectivity to major tourist areas for global visibility.
The objectives of the proposal are to safeguard manuscripts and cultural artifacts, promote Ugandan cultural heritage on the digital superhighway, promote business and tourist activities, generate revenue and enable Uganda to provide Web content.
This would be achieved by using Web technology to attract tourists to Uganda; providing facilities to sell Ugandan art and cultural goods on the Internet; encouraging Internet service provision, local Web hosting and design; developing a multimedia virtual gallery; and developing a low-cost broadcast, video and film industry.
In 2007, Uganda received 883,230 visitors, according to new information released by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics. Although the growth rate was lower than the previous year (15 percent compared to 16 percent), the overall numbers were positive, having grown from 769,662 in 2006.
Seventy-three percent of the total arrivals were tourists, representing a 3 percent increase over the previous year.
Uganda aims to attract 1 million visitors per year.