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Maria Mutagamba

The Minister of Tourism and Wildlife

MOT: Uganda to earn sh5.3 trillion from tourism
Earnings from tourism are expected to exceed $2 billion (about sh5.3 trillion) per annum in the next few years, according to projections from the tourism Master Plan launched.The projected earnings ($2b) are about a third of the annual budget, a figure which highlights the immense contribution the sector will have in the future surpassing almost any sector before commercial oil production begins.The plan prepared with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) also forecasts the creation of more than 150,000 additional tourism jobs, almost the same number that will be created at full peak of commercial oil production.The Master plan estimates the average total expenditure of leisure tourists on a pre-booked package tour at $1,200 per capita, and that of international business tourists at $900, excluding air fares in the key high-yield tourist markets. Read more
MOT: Tourism bodies combine to grow sector
The tourism fraternity is in honeymoon mood after Uganda Tourism Board and Uganda Tourism Association (UTA) liaised to make Uganda the tourism Mecca of Africa.  This was revealed during a cocktail celebrating the launch a Strategic Plan at Serena Hotel Kampala which comes at a time when the tourist arrivals logged were; Kenya 1470,000, Tanzania 754,000 and Uganda 946,000.  These figures have changed lately, following cancelations of bookings in Kenya after a spate of terrorism attacks and threats there. “We are pleased to have partnered with UTA to develop a five year strategic plan as a road map for greater coordination and engagement in the sector,” said the UNDP Country Director Almaz Gebru.  “We expect that as you embark on implementing it, you will use it as a basis for decision making on priorities and actions required to accelerate tourism.” “And its contribution to economic growth, social inclusion and environmental preservation,” stressed Gebru. Read more
MOT: Uncoordinated data hampering tourism growth, says minister
The absence of standard information about the tourism industry in Uganda is frustrating progress, the Minister for Tourism has said.Ms Maria Mutagamba stated in Kampala, that the different stakeholders in the industry publish contradicting information about the status of the sector consequently hampering efforts for effective planning.Uganda Tourism Association role
“Not everyone should publish data about the number of tourists coming into the country or the amount earned annually. We will end up with lies,” she said.“There is need for the Uganda Tourism Association (UTA) to come up with a research desk which should be the sole source of information about state of the country’s tourism industry,” she added. Read more
MOT: Uganda embassy in Washington DC boosts tourism
Uganda’s Embassy in Washington DC has partnered with National Tour Association (NTA) in North America to boost tourism in Uganda.“Uganda’s share of North American tourism market is set to expand following the partnership with the National Tour Association (NTA), a leading player in the travel industry in North America,” Oliver Wonekha, Uganda’s Ambassador to the United States, and Stephen B. Reacher, NTA’s Public Affairs Advocate at Uganda Embassy, Washington, D.C said.Wonekha noted that although Uganda has some of Africa’s best tourist attractions, the number of tourists from North America visiting the country hasn’t matched this potential, a recent statement issued by the Embassy said.She, however, noted that after emerging from a difficult past, Uganda has seen increased investment in tourism infrastructure such as hotels in cities and game parks, access roads, boosting security in and around the tourist attractions.She said the Embassy is working together with the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities; Uganda Tourism Board (UTB); Uganda Wildlife Authority and the Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO) to increase the country’s visibility as a unique tourist destination.Read more
Tourists to enter parks with smart access cards
To ensure efficiency in park revenue collections, the Uganda Wildlife Authority has started a cashless system that will enable tourists enter national parks using access cards. The monitored system, will enable visitors to Uganda’s parks to make payments centrally. (Photo: Tourism minister, Maria Mutagamba) Read more

New mobile app set to spur tourism
A new tourism mobile application that aims to lure more tourists to Uganda has been introduced. Built for smartphones, the Uganda Guide App—a brainchild of the Pearl Guide Uganda— provides a detailed guide on places and attractions of Uganda, as well as travel and amenity listings of service providers. Ms Maria Mutagamba, the minister of Tourism, who launched the new app at Serena Hotel on Friday, described it as a revolution and a new level of marketing Uganda’s tourism.  Read more