Uganda tourism agencies give public accountability for 2014/2015

The 6th Tourism Sector Performance Review Conference has opened today, Tuesday 29 September 2015, at the Kabira Country Club in Bukoto. The conference, which runs over two days, gives a concise and transparent overview of investments, targets, achievements, outputs and challenges for the tourism sector.

Speaking to the participants, Dr. Maria Mutagamba, the Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities thanked government for the increased budget funding that has improved the tourism sector. Among the participants are MPs on the tourism sector committee, Uganda Tourism Association, the Uganda Association of Travel Agents, private individuals and companies, World Wildlife Fund, and other development partners.

“I thank government for recognizing the importance and value of tourism to put it on the business round table. I call upon the local government to do the same—to make a priority of tourism. If they think is important for them, let them have a plan for tourism,” Mutagamba said addressing the conference.

She went on to challenge the local governments to ensure that tourism is taken as a priority in their budgets and plans. This is because most of the tourism facilities are in the jurisdiction of the local governments.  

At the conference, each agency gives accountability of its performance of the previous year 2014/2015. They also layout their strategies and plans for the next year. The performance of the tourism sector is grouped by institution i.e.  Ministry of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities (MTWA), Hotel Tourism Training Institute (HTTI), Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC), and the Uganda Wildlife Research Training Institute (UWRTI)

This conference is an opportunity for the stakeholders to put the agencies and the Ministry to account. Among the stakeholders present are tourism associations like the Uganda Tourism Association, the World Wildlife Fund, the UNDP, and media.

Addressing to the conference, Mr. Stephen Asiimwe, the CEO of the Uganda Tourism Board, the marketing agency, noted that the negative news in West Africa and in the region had affected Uganda’s image abroad.

“People, especially in the West, think Africa is one big country and Uganda just a district. This is wrong,” Asiimwe said. “Uganda is a nation on its own yet because we are in Africa, what is done and said elsewhere affects us.”

At the end of the two-day conference, recommendations will be made and a plan for next year agreed to.