President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has challenged the Uganda Tourism Board and embassies to look for all means of increasing the number of tourists visiting Uganda.
Speaking during the passing-out of 487 wildlife ranger recruits at Paraa Ranger Training School, Purongo Sub-county, Nwoya District, Museveni said that the tourist’s numbers have to increase from two million.
“The Uganda Tourism Board and our embassies should market our country’s uniqueness. We must work towards increasing the numbers of tourists visiting Uganda from the current two million annually.” He stated.
Museveni also clarified about the roads in the parks, where he revealed that we must have a master plan on fixing them.
“The government will find the money. The Karuma-Pakwach road was made to ease access to South Sudan but it has also greatly boosted tourism. More such roads will be built. Still on infrastructure, it does not make sense for a tourist going to Murchison Falls to first land in Entebbe. They could land in Gulu or in Soroti for those touring the Elgon area. The airstrips in these places, including Kasese, will be upgraded to support tourism.” He stated.
He also noted that on the question of conflicts between the animals and communities neighbouring parks, there are many ways to check this citing that the communities could engage in activities that naturally would keep the animals at bay, like bee-keeping, tea-growing, cultivating red pepper, among others.
Museveni added that Government will also look for money to erect the electric fence where it is possible to do so.
“The laws against poaching should be strengthened. I am also glad to learn that you have introduced dogs at the airport to sniff ivory. I have instructed the Uganda Revenue Authority to acquire scanners which can look through all vehicles at the borders. I will direct the minister of health to build a health centre in Para Safari Lodge to serve the workers, the community and the tourists.” He said.