Uganda will soon contract private companies to market the country’s tourism sector in all provinces of China.
Migereko said although China exports 123 million tourists to the world annually, Uganda was only receiving 19,175 visitors from there.
“That number is so huge and therefore we need to tap more of those tourists so that we can earn more foreign exchange. China is our leading bilateral development partner in the world, I see no reason why more Chinese should not come to enjoy our tourist attractions,” Migereko said.
Migereko revealed that already, the Ugandan embassy in Beijing and the consulate in Guangzhou were doing a great job in marketing the country’s tourism potential.
“Also, there are many investment opportunities in tourism and other sectors such as mining, agriculture and manufacturing. These are the areas we can work on together with the Chinese to benefit both countries,” Migereko said.
He added that several Ugandan universities had introduced the study of Chinese language while many Ugandans had been sent to China as way of improving the two countries’ relations so that “when the Chinese tourists come here, they can find guides who understand their language.”
“Uganda has been active in the Chinese market and we are now prioritizing it as major area for current and future tourism growth. Uganda has participated in the Guangzhou expo in 2017, translated a Uganda country guide into China and has hosted Chinese operators in Uganda to showcase what we can offer,” he added.
And to show that Uganda is serious about attracting Chinese tourists, the government will send a team of technocrats and tourism sector players to China to try and market what Uganda has to offer. The team will be leaving Uganda on March 11.
Migereko also revealed that with the revival of Uganda Airlines, Beijing and Guangzhou will be top priority flights because of the high traffic exchange between the two countries.
“We are also working on putting up several airports in Uganda to ease movement of tourists from one part of the country to the other,” Migereko added.
Uganda currently earns 1.5 billion U.S. dollars from the tourism sector, with most of the visitors coming to check out the country’s national parks.