The Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Matia Kasaija, read the 2017/2018 national budget, under the theme “Industrialization for Job Creation and Shared Prosperity
Tourism has developed rapidly. Uganda was ranked as the fourth world’s best tourist destination including the best in Africa by ‘Rough Guides’ last year. Tourist arrivals to Uganda have more than doubled to 1.3 million people in 2015, rising from 540,000 in 2006.
Tourism also employs 1.2 million people both directly and indirectly. Consequently, Uganda is targeting tourist arrivals to increase to 4 million visitors per year, and double tourism earnings from USD 1.35 billion today to USD 2.7 billion by 2020. This will translate into significant jobs for Ugandans.
Minister Kasaija added that there is therefore need to harness this cash cow. In addition to tourism infrastructure development, Uganda will be marketed and promoted as a world-class tourist destination.
The Source of the Nile will be developed into a Tourism site. This will complement the Uganda Wildlife Authority’s acquisition of three speed boats, five buses and the development of tourism facilities including restaurants and shopping areas, etc.
In addition the Uganda Hotel and Tourism Training Institute and the Uganda Wildlife Research and Tourism Institute will be rehabilitated and equipped to build hospitality skills.
International tourist standards will also be enhanced with the continued certification of hotels and restaurants. So far 61 hotels have been star-rated. I will later pronounce specific tax incentives that have been passed by Parliament to support private initiative and investment in the tourism sector.
Tourism, Trade and Industry has been allocated 98.3 billion Shillings financial year 2017/2018