I tweeted about the feedback from a group tourists who visited Uganda recently & many responses agree that we, as a country have not done enough.
Let me share opportunities for tourism promotion on the Uganda - Kenya borders of Malaba and Busia. So,
Dear UGANDAN TOUR OPERATORS
I'm not an expert in the Tourism industry but as an usher of all people coming in to Uganda (Read Immigration Officer), I facilitate tourists. My colleagues and I are the first point of interaction with your clients. So I draw from that experience.
There is a lot of advertisement at the airport. Big screens, magazines, brochures, pull up banners, billboards etc but it is unimaginable that there is none of these on the Kenyan frontier. Do we not expect any tourists from Kenya?
Many times a group of tourists will ask, how do we get to Sipi? Or where can I get accommodation in Jinja? Or which places can I visit near the Elgon? Poor Mr. Usher, at this moment, representing the whole of Uganda, does not have even a brochure to hand them.
An NGO has a pull-up banner in the waiting area with information on Human Trafficking. UWA has a pull-up banner too, but with information on wildlife product trafficking. There is no information on our tourist attractions.
Of course the tourism business is seasonal. We receive more people for major events, rally, Martyrs day, Nyege Nyege, Rugby games, and November/December holidays. There is no targeted information for these clusters of people during these seasons.
There is no reliable special hire transporter, no public access Internet at the borders. Then there is a miserable canteen ran by Inspire Africa Coffee (@Inspire Africa Coffee
) just within the customs area at Malaba. You won't even get Ugandan Coffee at this shanty place.
Of course @Uganda Tourism Board
has resources and could much easily liaise with the government agencies at the borders to do the advertising but some of these gaps can be fixed by private players.