Private sector frets on govt’s reluctance to fund tourism
Publish Date: Feb 06, 2014
Private sector frets on govt’s reluctance to fund tourism
  • mail
  • img

By David Mugabe

Private sector on Thursday pushed for an end to the overdue challenge of low funding to tourism marketing saying it has held back a very powerful industry.

In a lively breakfast discussion at Hotel Africana, funding the marketing budget and marching what other countries in the region are spending to market their country was the central point in a packed room of private sector, donors and government leaders.

“We are not selling it right, tourism is a back banner somewhere, I can promise you if you gave this $5m to the right people, we could triple it just by just (marketing) in North America and a few states in Europe only,” intoned Kelly MacTavish, proprietor of Pearl Of Africa, a private tour firm.

In East Africa, Uganda has the lowest marketing budget currently at just about $300,000 a year. This is what some countries use to pay for a single stand in top global exhibitions like London’s World Travel Market.

The failure to raise the marketing budget in tandem with even smaller economies with less tourism offerings like Rwanda and Burundi has been one of the most puzzling concerns from the private sector. Rwanda spends $5m in marketing while Burundi spends $1.5m. Kenya spends in excess of $34m while Tanzania spends $12m annually in marketing.

Both private sector and government also called for an end to the acrimony on who does what among the different players. Amos Wekesa from Great Lakes Safaris said the priority should be on marketing.

The chairman of Uganda Tourism Board James Tumusiime called for unity saying there has been too much clutter, conflict and people fighting for prominence which needs to end immediately.

Stephen Asiimwe, the new chief executive officer of UTB said they are ready to push to change things around and help turn one of Africa’s most gifted country by natural diversity realize its true potential.

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Dollar holds euro gains but dips against emerging units
The dollar held its gains against the euro Tuesday as markets bet on a Federal Reserve rate hike next month, while emerging market currencies got a lift from optimism over the world's top economy....
Uchumi Supermarkets sued over 63m
A supply company has sued Uchumi Supermarkets over uncleared debt to the tune of sh63.4m. The firm, 7 Days International Limited, deals in sanitary products...
Insurers challenged to invest in micro-insurance
Ronald Zake, chairman Insurance Institute of Uganda (IIU) has challenged players in the industry to embrace micro-insurance to cater for small and medium size enterprise...
Global markets push higher after week darkened by terror
Global stock markets pushed higher Friday to end a nervous week during which investors demonstrated a feisty resilience amid a cloud of terror....
Bahati explains return of public funds
The state minister for finance in charge of planning, David Bahati has accused some accounting officers for causing delays in the release of public funds....
Dollar under pressure as Fed timetable in focus
The dollar edged down for a second day against emerging market currencies in Asia Friday as dealers focus on the pace of the expected rise in US interest rates....
Is Uganda ready for the pope's visit?
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter