By Isaac Norman Mwambazi
Tourism has been the worst-hit sector by the Coronavirus pandemic due to the suspension of international passenger travel by most countries, including Uganda.
The sector, which is one of the highest forex earners for Uganda, has seen revenues dropping to near zero since March when government announced the lockdown.
Hotels have cut jobs; safari lodges in national parks have closed parts of their businesses, while tour and travel companies have ventured into something else for the time being.
"Domestic travel prices have been subsidised, standard operation Guidelines have been roled out and implemented by the stallholders. In short the Pearl is ready for you
— House Of DJs (@hodjs) September 11, 2020
These challenges have been key in having stakeholders suggest to the government the need to open up the airport for international passenger travel.
To address this, the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has turned its focus on attracting local tourists to go out, tour their own country, and enjoy the beauty that Uganda is. The camping, which will run for eight weeks has been dubbed “Take on the Pearl” .
The UTB Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Lilly Ajarova said that the campaign is intended to both encourage domestic travel and close the gap created by the pandemic.
“The pandemic has created an opportunity for us to look inwards and therefore travel [within] our country. It is a delight to launch this domestic tourism campaign today as part of the efforts by the board to not only encourage domestic travel but also close the seasonality gap that has been created,” Ajarova said.
Uganda is a well-endowed country with beautiful sceneries and thousands of wild life that tourists from around the world flock to see.
That is why the New York Times listed Uganda in the list of Top 50 Must-visit countries in 2020 before COVID-19 came and made it rain on our party.