Government through Ministry of Tourism will spend $600 million (Shs2.2 trillion) in developing tourism infrastructure across the country in the next five years.
The major infrastructure projects government aims to develop include the Source of the Nile and Kagulu Hills in Busoga, Mt Rwenzori Tourism infrastructure development project phase II and Mt Elgon infrastructure development project.
The ministry will also develop roads to cultural heritage sites of BigoByamugenyi archaeological heritage, Nyero, Patiko and Emin Pasha’s fort.
Others are relocating and upgrading the airstrip at periphery of Kidepo valley national park, constructing marine water routes including 20 docking piers on Lake Victoria and Albert and upgrading of 370 kilometres of tourism roads across the country.
Roads being upgraded include the 8Km Kabale-Lake Bunyoyi, the 14Km Mgahinga National park headquarters, the 54Km Kisoro-Nkuringo-Rubuguri-Muko road , the 22Km Rubuguri-Nteko and 88Km Ishasha-Katunguru road.
Also Hamurwa-Kerere-Kanungu-Buleme-Buhoma-Butogota-Hamayanja-Ifasha-Ikumba 149km, Kitgum-Olumu-Kalenga-Kidepo-Kaabong 184km and 117Km Kebisoni-Kisizi-Muhanga-Kambuga roads.
While unveiling Uganda’s new tourism ambassador 10,000 metres world athletics record holder Joshua Cheptegei, tourism minister Tom Butime said all these investments are geared at increasing Uganda’s attractiveness as a preferred tourist destination.
“These investments will increase the number of tourists, the value of their spending and that will attract investments that will create more jobs that will put more money in pockets of all Ugandans,” he said.
According to him, the National Development Plan (NDP III) anticipates that by 2025, international tourist arrivals from United States, Europe and China will grow from 210,000 to 500,000 tourists, a core element in increasing annual tourism revenue from $1.6 billion to $3 billion.
He said this will increase tourism’s contribution to total employment from 6.3 per cent to about 10 per cent which is equivalent to 433,000 new jobs and increase total contribution of tourism to Gross Domestic Product from 7.7 per cent to 9 per cent.