The president of the Uganda tourism associations (UTA) Herbert Byaruhanga has issued a letter citing the fact the private tour operators in Uganda will not attend the tourism event organized by the Uganda tourism board (UTB) scheduled for the 21st of January 2022.
What You Need To Know
Uganda Tourism Association is an umbrella of all tourism associations in Uganda including but not limited to the Uganda hotel owners association, Association of Uganda tour operators among other associations.
Here are the details of part of the letter
Secondly, the private sector of tourism and hospitality employs more than 600,000 people, especially the youth. However, throughout the Covid-19 period: the government of Uganda has deliberately ignored the tourism business without any stimulus package like other countries have done to help the tourism business recover. This has seen many of our SMEs close without any help or support hand from the government. Many assets & properties have been lost to commercial banks.
Thirdly, the government (tourism) has on several occasions conducted activities or procurements that seem to compete and undermine the private sector or discourage activities of private sector players. The hundreds of consultancy outputs/ deliverables worth billions of shillings remain on the shelves of government offices yet they would support the private sector in product development as well as marketing.
In addition, despite tourism being a fundamental sector in Uganda, the government deliberately ignored tourism in the recent high-level workshop “Sth Economic Growth Forum” that was held at Kampala Serena Hotel on the 13th January 2022.
On several occasions, the sector players have communicated to the Minister of Tourism, Chairman of the Board of Uganda Tourism Board, with no response. Therefore it does not make sense to us, the private sector of tourism and hospitality to blindly engage in activities of government to flag off initiatives where we are left out of the initial planning process.
Moreover; UTB deems it right to extend invitations to private sector players to attend and listen to their undertakings and approve without any contributions which are clear rubberstamping the private sector players To our end, this is irresponsible and utter disregard of the private sector. This is unacceptable and we will not embrace or use the brand.
Herbert Byaruhanga, President, Uganda Tourism Association (UTA)