Uganda Launches Tourism Development Master Plan on World Tourism Day
World Tourism Day 2014 took on a special significance this year as Uganda celebrated tourism in the eastern locality of Mbale.
Hosted by H.E. the Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Mrs. Maria Mutagamba, the central focus of the World Tourism Day celebrations was the official launch of the Tourism Development Master Plan which was formulated by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The Government of Uganda, in its National Development Plan 2010-2014, has identified tourism as a priority sector to promote socio-economic development in the country, foster the creation of sustainable livelihoods, and generate greater dividends in foreign exchange earnings while contributing towards the protection of Uganda’s valuable and diverse cultural and natural heritage.
The Master Plan project activities were launched in 2012 with a complete review and evaluation of the current status of tourism in the country. Based on this review, conclusions and recommendations were proposed for the further strengthening and diversification of Uganda’s tourism sector through the formulation, firstly of a Tourism Policy followed, secondly, by the Master Plan. The Tourism Policy is a visionary document which outlines the Government’s overarching goals for development through tourism while the Master Plan is the implementing arm through which the Government can achieve the visions and objectives set out in the Policy. The salient conclusions of both the Policy and Master Plan determine that tourism has indeed grown in Uganda and has tremendous potential. However, there is a great need to diversify Uganda’s tourism product which will also spread the socio-economic benefits of tourism to different parts of the country.