Tour operators who are not licensed by July will not access the National Parks by Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) and they will be denied Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) recognition.
“This is the only way we can professionalize the trade to compete with other destinations in being attractive,” said Martin Mugarra, the minister of state for tourism
The minister announced this at the annual get-together party of Uganda Safari Guides Association (USAGA) on May 16, 2023 at the Uganda Museum.
“It is time every chain of the tourism sector is streamlined. Tourists need state-of-the-art handling in accommodation, dining, wining, and travel. This is the more reason that as roads and aviation services are being worked on, chefs are not forgotten,” the minister stated.
The Uganda Tourism Association president Herbert Byaruhanga called on the minister to help their SACCO get started.
“The equipment we use in the field costs sh3m to sh10m for a pair of binoculars. A camera has a price tag of sh5m and above. We need literature and exposure to countries with huge numbers of visitors to keep our game up,” Byaruhanga elaborated.
Paul Ninsima from the Uganda Wildlife Authority noted that days are numbered for guides who take tourists around and fail to give them proper information.
“The profile of tourists coming here are information savvy. They do their research and just need your Ugandan wealth of information in your community, those fables are best sellers if packaged well,” Ninsima said.
In the same tone, Uganda Tourism Board’s Innocent Asimwe argued that regulating the crop of people handling tourists should have been done a decade ago.
“We have tour operators in the field who cannot plot an itinerary besides not differentiating a lion from an elephant or where they can be seen while in Uganda,” Asimwe said.