Uganda has regained her membership to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
This happened on Wednesday 18th October 2023 during the 25th UNWTO General Assembly in Samarkand Uzbekistan.
A delegation of officials from the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities led by the Hon. Martin Mugarra Bahinduka, State Minister for Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities, Mr. Kakula-Khirome Samuel Undersecretary, Ambassador Amule Doreen and Ambassador Otiti Catherine from the Ugandan Embassy in France, Mr. Lyazi Vivian Commissioner Tourism Development and Ssali Gadafi Senior Tourism Officer witnessed the event.
The reinstatement of Uganda followed the countries meeting of it’s subscription obligations.
Hon. Mugarra noted that the reinstatement is timely as it enables Uganda to benefit from the opportunities of the organizations membership and participate in the global tourism policy discussion and direction.
The General Assembly ends today- Friday.
The full UNWTO membership status is expected to unlock further support, partnerships, and opportunities for Uganda’s tourism industry, positioning the country as a prime destination for travelers worldwide.
Over the past 10 years, Uganda has seen steady growth in its tourism supported by massive investment by the government as well as private sector players.
For instance, the foreign exchange earnings from tourism improved to $1.32b from $1.2b in fiscal year 2020/21.
Similarly, the tourism sector’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) marginally expanded to 3.1% from 2.9% in the same period.
Uganda’s tourist arrivals are reported to have improved in 2022 to 814,508 from 473,085 in 2021 according to recent data from the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities.
Early this year, President Yoweri Museveni launched the Explore Uganda, the Pearl of Africa brand, which aims to increase Uganda’s attractiveness as a preferred tourism destination in Africa.
According to Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), the new brand acknowledges and seeks to differentiate Uganda as a destination of multiple experiences in one unique place – and position the country as the most competitive destination in Africa and the world to tourists and tourism investors alike.