• Evelyn Nakazi

Uganda Tourism gets 2 International Awards as Air Travel Resumes

Since March, 2020 commercial flights at Entebbe International Airport were suspended due to outbreak of covid-19 that has hit the world at large. As air travel resumes at Entebbe Airport, the Uganda tourism sector has been awarded with 2 significant international awards; one from the World Travel and Tourism Council that awarded the country with the Safer Tourism Stamp making Uganda the 3rd destination to receive such an incredible endorsement after only Kenya and Jamaica that were awarded previously.

The endorsement comes after an evaluation that was conducted recognizing Uganda the pearl of Africa as one of the safest travel destinations tourists can visit amidst covid-19 crisis. The endorsement comes after observing the Standard Operating Procedures that have been stipulated to ensure international travelers’ safety when they fly into the country.

Over 20 destinations and stakeholders made a request to have an independent evaluation and hundreds of stakeholders from over 50 nations and 11 US States are displaying the Safer Tourism Seal awarded following their self-evaluation. The Safer Tourism Seal is aimed at rebuilding travel and the initiative is led by tourism leaders in over 120 countries.

The second Safer Tourism Seal award the Uganda tourism sector was awarded with was from the African Tourism Board, the overall seer of various countries to ensure they comply and ensure the destinations are safe. It is great delight to receive these important recognition as it is clear indication that the country prepared and ready to restart its tourism sector.

What do the 2 international awards mean to Uganda’s tourism sector

With all the 2 awards and now that the air travel has resumed 1st October 2020, there is hope that the country’s tourism industry is most likely to rebound faster than it was projected. It should be noted that H.E. YK Museveni officially announced resumption of commercial flights at Entebbe International Airport for tourists, travelers and also land border areas were also re-opened. Uganda tourism sector generated about $1.6 billion in 2019 alone and it is listed among the top foreign exchange earners, accounting for 7% contribution to Uganda’s GDP.

Uganda tourism sector

The tourism sector of Uganda is largely dependent on nature. Most of the tourists on Uganda safari holiday flock into this magical African state to enjoy the exceptional view of the country’s big game in the parks, mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, bird watching, chimpanzee tracking in Kibale Forest National Park, primate safaris, nature walks as well as mountaineering adventures on Rwenzori Mountains ranges, Virunga Volcanoes and Mount Elgon among others.

Besides wildlife, Uganda is also the best seller of authentic African cultural experiences. It best described as a boiling pot of cultures, boasting of about 60 different tribal groups all confined in this landlocked country, living harmoniously. Ugandans are hospitable, warm welcoming and above, a cultural experience here lets you enjoy great dances, music performances, explore various traditions, norms or engage in hands-on-experience.