Support for Development of Inclusive Markets in Tourism in Uganda
Based on the success of a previous UNWTO/UNDP project for the formulation of a Tourism Policy and Master Plan for Uganda, UNWTO, once again in collaboration with UNDP, is supporting the Ugandan Government in the development of inclusive markets in tourism, focusing on the participation of the poor and local communities in the tourism sector as entrepreneurs, employees and consumers. The project aims to empower the poor to increase benefits from the tourism industry and improve their livelihoods through access to labor and markets, and increased opportunities for decent work and incomes.
Extensive fieldwork was carried out to identify not only tourism products, but also those tourism enterprises in the region which can act as the drivers for achieving pro-poor impacts through forming and sustaining viable business opportunities, as solutions for all concerned. Next, the project organized and delivered a series of 2 day tourism awareness-raising and product validation workshops. These were well attended by an impressive range of stakeholders including: accommodation providers, tour operators, community groups and associations, local government representatives (such as the District Commercial Officers), Uganda Wildlife Authority and others. The main purpose of the workshops was to sensitize and motivate participants to gain a better understanding of core tourism and pro-poor tourism concepts and expose them to a wider range of opportunities for contributing to pro-poor tourism impacts through using the exercises in the UNWTO/SNV ST-EP manual, which was enthusiastically appreciated all round.
Another significant component of the project is the focus on institutional strengthening of six key industry associations. The institutional strengthening process began in early December with a 2 day training workshop on corporate governance for these six tourism support institutions.
2014 will be devoted to providing practical guidance and mentoring to the development of business linkages, capacity-building for MSMEs and tourism associations, together with elaborating the pro-poor tourism business models.