Predictably, ahead of the final touches to the national budget preparation and coinciding with ITB, the global leader for tourism trade fairs, were moans being floated to the local media, as seems to have been the case for the past few years. Tourism stakeholders talking to one of the local newspapers decried the lack of government support for the sector, lack of support to the tourist board, and lack of publicity abroad, all of which is, by the way and sadly, so true, yet few of them are even in the slightest bothered to use new web-based media to gain exposure in the global market place.
Unlike the tourist boards of Rwanda, Kenya, or in particular of the Seychelles, all of which are properly tuned into such media like eTurboNews, the Uganda Tourist Board rarely offers information about events or new products apart from an occasional newsletter, while only a few from the private sector, like Marasa, Mihingo, Nile River Explorers, Nalubale Rafting, Nile Horseback Safaris, Sheraton, Speke Hotels, Wildplaces Africa, or Geo Lodges Uganda could be cited as being keen in sending out material, which can then be used to tell the world about what is happening in Uganda.
If gathering information turns out like the proverbial “pulling teeth,” the sector needs to wake up first and take advantage of opportunities, which are there FOR FREE instead of chasing phantoms. Exposure in the global market place through Twitter, Facebook, and other social media are free of charge and yet rarely used by those same people seeking millions to run CNN commercials.