As Uganda joined the rest of the world on 27th September to celebrate the 2018 World Tourism Day in Jinja at the Rugby grounds near the source of the River Nile, apart from “Tourism and Digital Transformation” theme that government and other tourism affiliated bodies aimed at achieving, Daudi Migereko who is the current chairman of Uganda Tourism Board delivered a speech urging fellow citizens to protect, preserve, conserve and market Uganda’s tourism products like the National Game Parks, Forests, swamps, Lakes, Rivers, Mountains, wild animals and birds among others which all make up the flora and fauna hence improving the country’s ecosystem not forgetting the economic, cultural and religious practices richly playing a great role in attracting up to 1.4 million tourists as per 2017 alone thereby giving government a foreign exchange rate of $1.4 billion indicating a great increase.
Uganda Tourism Board expects to meet their target of 4 million tourists per year if only peace and tranquility, maximum government funding, extensive use of digital platforms and educating the local population on the benefits of preserving our nature and promoting any tourism product in place are implemented.
So in a bid to achieve success, Uganda Tourism Board supported by the government of Uganda has joined hands with several embassies and missions in foreign countries to promote and market Uganda’s uniquely beautiful tourism products and destinations. Public relations and marketing have already been established in China, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Gulf States, India and Japan to mould managers and workers who will fully interact with the foreign tourists in their respective languages and prepare their native cuisine in respect of their culture.
Locally in Uganda, cultural and religious tourism is thriving well after gaining recognition both locally and internationally where tourists visit cultural sites like Buganda Kingdom, Tooro Kingdom and cultural settlements like the Karamojong in Northeastern Uganda, Tulambule campaign in Busoga among others and religious sites like Namugongo Martyrs shrine, newly set Janan Luwum day respectively.
With the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities guiding Uganda Tourism Board, Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), and Uganda Wildlife Education Center (UWEC), all local and urban authorities combined with the private sector have been tasked to identify, design, develop and showcase touristic attraction products and destinations within their localities and take advantage of the Digital Age to market the products and destinations internationally. Government is asked to establish better roads for easy accessibility to the attraction sites, hotels or camping sites for accommodation and to improve, maintain the hygiene and ambience of these sites to attract more tourists and reputable health centers to cater for any casualties in case of any injuries during the tours.
If we want information about destinations, climate change, safety, security, rates, amenities, culture and press releases or even travel articles to be easily accessed, digital transformation has to be embraced by everyone especially those at the centre of travel, tourism and hospitality industries and with this kind of mindset, tourism and digital transformation will realize growth and success as it was themed in the 2018 World Tourism Day celebrations on 27th September at the Rugby grounds near the source of the Nile in Jinja.