Uganda’s tourism industry is on the way to recovery after the sector recorded a loss of over UGX 3.5 trillion (USD 1 billion) last year at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a tourism ministry official said on Thursday.
Doreen Katusiime, permanent secretary of the ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities told reporters that the sector has started showing signs of recovery, with increased number of tourists, airlines and accommodation and tour operator bookings.
Katusiime said a survey by the ministry showed that tourist bookings tripled in the first quarter of 2021, from 27,542 recorded by the end of August 2020 to 83,464 by end of March this year.
She said bookings registered by airlines and accommodation facilities doubled by the end of March 2021 while bookings recorded by the tour operators increased eleven-fold between August 2020 and March 2021.
The official noted that at least 30 percent of tourism jobs were recovered in the east African country by the end of March 2021.
Uganda used to earn over 1.6 billion dollars from the tourism sector annually. The country’s tourism earnings in 2020 dropped by 73 percent to 0.5 billion dollars due to the pandemic, according to the ministry.