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Category Archives: UTA NEWS



KAMPALA October 22, 2021 – In a bid to cushion the highly hit tourism sector and catalyse its journey towards recovery, the Uganda Tourism Association (UTA) hosted a breakfast of the country’s leading Chief Executives with a call to action of expanding domestic tourism promotion through the incentive travel for the corporate organization.

The move is supplementary to several efforts aimed at bringing one of the country’s main GDP contributors (the tourism sector) back to its feet, following a dearth episode caused by a ravelling pandemic.

Speaking at the event which was held this morning at the Kampala Sheraton Hotel, Mrs. Pearl Hoareau Kakooza, the President of the country’s tourism private sector umbrella body, made a pertinent appeal to the company chiefs to harness domestic tourism as an alternative tool for motivating their labour force through reward actions like paid holidays, which she said would strengthen corporate synergy and improve productivity at the workplace.

This activation is part of an ongoing rejuvenation drive dubbed the COVID-19 Economic Recovery and Resilience Response Program (CERRRP Project); a series of actions aimed at supporting tourism and hospitality enterprise to revive the tourism industry in Uganda with funding from the Mastercard Foundation, and implemented by the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) and Uganda Tourism Association.

“In the recent times, the domestic market has become a key focus in our promotional efforts. Indeed, successful world tourism destinations are characterised by a strong domestic market. This is an existing market that is less prone to seasonal fluctuations or basing travel decisions on the international media and foreign advisory note ratings of the destination,” said Doreen Katusiime the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism Wildlife & Antiquities.

“I am happy to note that there is increasing visitation by the Ugandans to our destinations. This demand is supported by the growing size of the middle class, the influx of the corporate sector and the ICT revolution that has made information more accessible,” Ms. Katusiime added.

The Chief Host of the event, Dr. Elly Karuhanga, a seasoned private sector investor and the chair of the Private Sector Foundation Uganda  said “we need to embrace our country as Corporate main stream it our policies, Lets be the change”

This comes at a time when more and more players are advocating for a form of tourism that allows for Ugandan residents to travel within their country, an aim to diversify promotion efforts from the previously almost entirely foreign-focused marketing to more inclusiveness.

“Today we are also kickstarting a period of subsidised trips around Uganda for Ugandans, booked through Ugandan professional tour operators,” said Mr. Richard Kawere the UTA CEO.

At the same event, winners of the Uganda Travel Writing Competition were rewarded with once-in-a-lifetime holiday prizes. The contest had aimed at encouraging Ugandans to tell stories about their holiday experiences through writing but also grow into travel writers to create content for promotion.

The Tourism and Hospitality industry was the hardest-hit sector of the economy by the ongoing Outbreak. The 2020 COVID-19 Impact Economic Study carried out by the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities revealed that at least 1 million tourist arrivals were lost, 7 in every 10 jobs in the sector lost, 8 in every 10 hotels business registered business cancellations, 448,996 hotel rooms were canceled between March to July 2020, 9 in every 10 tour companies registered cancellations. The overall average Job loss in the sector was over 74%.

Allan Ssenyonga the CERRRP Project manager at the MasterCard Foundation said that the COVID-19 Economic Recovery & Resilience Response Program is one of the two programs funded by the Master Card Foundation at the Private Sector Foundation Uganda and that tourism is a priority sector.

Mr. Francis Kisirinya, the PSFU ED thanked  UTA for having responded promptly to the effects of the pandemic to come up with excellent proposals to aid the recovery of the tourism sector.


About the Uganda Tourism Association

The Uganda Tourism Association is the umbrella body that brings together all tourism trade associations in Uganda. The current member trade unions include the Association of Uganda Tour Operators, Uganda Safari Guides Association, Uganda Hotel Owners Association, The Uganda Association of Travel Agents, National Arts and Cultural Crafts Association of Uganda, Association of Uganda Women in Tourism Trade, Uganda Community Tourism Association and Hotel General Managers Association Of Uganda. These associations altogether represent tour operators, travel agents, accommodation facilities, tour guides, community-based organizations, etc. and membership is steadily increasing.


89 year old Mehta and wife enjoy maiden Gorilla tracking experience in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

Mr. Mahendra N. Mehta aged 89 & Wife Sunayana Mehta 87 of the Sugar Corporation of Uganda Limited (SCOUL) together with 5 other members of the family comprising of 3 Mehta family generations recently reveled in the unique mountain gorilla trekking adventure in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.



There have been very many updates on the travel regulations and restrictions due to the global COVID 19 pandemic. We encourage all our travelers to take heart for this too shall pass.

Effective from the 3rd July 2021 until 31 July 2021, the Ugandan government has introduced the following guidelines regarding clearance of tourists and other residents returning to Uganda:


Uganda Tourism Association Kickstarts COVID -19 Recovery For Tourism Sector

At a stakeholders’ engagement in Kampala on Wednesday (26th May 2021), Uganda Tourism Association unveiled a new project titled CERRRP, aimed at kickstarting resilience from the worst effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project which in full is the COVID-19 Economic Recovery and Resilience Response Program (CERRRP) has been funded by the Mastercard Foundation, supported by the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU) for entities in the Tourism Sector.

Speaking at the meeting which included trade associations, hoteliers, tour operators, travel agents, community-tourism enterprises, tour guides, visual arts practitioners, among others; Mrs. Pearl Hoareau Kakooza, the president of Uganda’s tourism private sector apex body, UTA, made a passionate call to the stakeholders to engage with the project expeditiously as it was limited to only six months within which it had to be fully implemented.

Mr. Richard Kawere, the project’s coordinator who also is the Chief Executive Officer of the Uganda Tourism Association mentioned that the beneficiaries of the CERRRP project were to be picked, focusing on the sector’s value chain using the different trade associations that comprise UTA.

It is without a doubt that the Tourism and Hospitality Industry was the hardest-hit sector of the global economy by the COVID-19 outbreak. As countries around the world continue to struggle with the crash in international tourism during the novel coronavirus pandemic that has cost the global economy more than $4 trillion in 2020 and 2021, Uganda has been working to not only vaccinate its population and implement requisite Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) but to also cushion the economy towards some form of recovery.

The COVID-19 impact economic study carried out on the sector in Uganda by the Ministry of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities indicated that 1 million tourist arrivals were lost, 7 in every 10 jobs in the sector were lost, 8 in every 10 hotel businesses registered business cancellations, 448,996 hotel rooms were canceled between March to July 2020, and 9 in every 10 tour companies registered cancellations. A total average Job loss of 74.4% in the sector.

“This project intends to support the tourism and hospitality MSMEs to mitigate effects of COVID -19 through structured business recovery and resilience support, especially through a common user facility, to return to work and support the economy through re-employment of those that lost jobs and creation of new opportunities, especially for youth and women,” Richard stated.

As revealed in its name, the project’s interventions are expected to improve marketing and promotion using modern technologies to drive demand and stimulate travel especially for the domestic travelers who will then lead to the restoration of Jobs and the creation of new opportunities for work, while triggering international travel confidence.

Among many outcomes, the project also intends to specifically focus on the development of new tourism products, strengthen cooperation and coordination of the actors along the tourism value chain; improve institutional capacity through sector performance guided by policies like strategic plans and manuals; and developing new standards as well as training professionals in the tourism sector.

The UTA president, in her remarks also reminded the sector players that tourism in Uganda is private sector driven and therefore called upon all the different trade groups to prove and exercise the different mandates in ensuring that everything moved quickly to deliver the project to its full completion.


For more details on how to apply for support under the CERRRP project as a tourism sector player, you are encouraged to contact your trade association or the Uganda Tourism Association secretariat directly at or +256 785 489 481

Learn More about the project here


Uganda Awarded the Safer Tourism Evaluated Seal

Today, the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) can be proud. Uganda Tourism Board CEO Lilly Ajarova and Quality Assurance Officer Samora Semakula applied on August 24 for the Safer Tourism Seal . In addition to the self-assessment, UTB included a request for an independent evaluation.


Head of the Private Sector in Tourism encourages Ugandans to promote their own domestic tourism

I was recently asked during the just concluded e-conference hosted by PSFU, when the airport opens will Uganda be guaranteed foreign visitors? In other words, the moderator understood that re-opening of Entebbe International Airport wouldn’t be an immediate trigger for the high value foreign tourists to return to visit The Pearl of Africa.


Ugandan Arts and Crafts need to be streamlined, standardized to capture market-Experts

Art is a widespread language that dates back thousands of years ago where mankind told stories through pictures drawn on cave walls. Through the ages, artists have conveyed history through sketches, paintings, construction and sculptures.

Uganda aims at both local and international market for its handcrafts. Uganda’s handcraft trade is largely informal market with an inconsistent market access entry and penetration approaches and inadequate market distribution networks.


Tourism Private Sector ask government to reopen Entebbe Airport

The tourism private sector has asked the government to consider re-opening Entebbe International Airport, saying it is the main gateway into Uganda and an enabler for recovery of all sectors in the economy.


Minister assures of Uganda’s safety for Tourists

The Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities Hon. Tom Butime has assured the public that Uganda’s national parks are safe to visit because the safety of tourists is given number one priority. The Minister gave the assurance today while receiving 12 unit ranger accommodation
facility from the European Union (EU) delegation to Uganda to accommodate park rangers in Queen Elizabeth National Park.


SOPs for Tourism Services and Research Activities in UWA Estates

Both the Uganda Wildlife Act, 2019 and the Wildlife Policy 2014 provide for conservation and sustainable management of wildlife resources, coordination, monitoring and supervision of activities related to wildlife management in Uganda. This mandate is legally vested in UWA. In order to carry out its mandate,