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Tourism in Uganda offers new paths to economic transformation and job creation

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Tourism in Uganda offers new paths to economic transformation and job creation

Uganda is one of the most biodiverse countries on the planet with millennia of history and thriving cultural traditions. But it remains an underrated tourist destination. From the royal trails across the kingdoms – Buganda, Tooro, Bunyoro-Kitara, and Busoga – to the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Kasubi Tombs, the art galleries in Kampala, and the Nyege Nyege music festival near Itanda Falls on the Nile, there is a world of activities that offer unique and memorable experiences. Developing these products and others could broaden Uganda’s appeal beyond gorilla trekking in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, which is currently the most popular attraction. Broadening the menu of tourism attractions and experiences in Uganda is critical to bringing in more tourists and increasing the potential earnings for Ugandan businesses and the private sector.

Similarly, for the hundreds of thousands of new job seekers in Uganda, tourism offers gainful employment and entrepreneurship  for guides, tour operators, hospitality workers, and marketing professionals, among many others. Tourism is also opening up new opportunities for women and youth and before the pandemic employed about 600,000 people in Uganda. While a significant proportion of tourism jobs were lost due to COVID-19, signs of recovery offer hope.

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