Uganda to Lose USD 1.6 Billion in the Tourism Sector Due to COVID-19
The European Union (EU) Ambassadors to Uganda have appealed to government to consider having in place a comprehensive master plan that will ensure the resuscitation of the country’s tourism sector.
The remarks were made at a press briefing by the European Union delegation led by the EU Ambassador Attilio Pacifici.
Tourism together with others sectors in the country have been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sector came to a standstill in March after President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni announced the closure of all borders, together with Entebbe International Airport.
According to Jeanne Byamugisha, the Executive Director Uganda Hotel Owners Association,Uganda expects to lose US Dollars 1.6 billion in tourism revenue of which 45 percent comes from the hotel industry.
She also noted that a recent study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) indicated that in five years’ time, Uganda will not have achieved the 1.8 million tourists who have been coming in annually.
Uganda was targeting to hit 4 million tourists by 2020.
She said that something crucial like provision of tax holidays or a stimulus package has to be done for the sector to be resuscitated and bring in money for the country.
The Belgian Ambassador Rudi Veestraeten said that Uganda needs an active response towards the tourism sector even before the pandemic is over