As part of the ongoing work by the East African Community to put out the final East African Marketing strategy, Uganda Tourism Board Monday morning has meeting with different stakeholders and players in the tourism sector to consult on Uganda’s input for the final draft of the strategy following a call back by the member states to ensure that all countries are given a chance to review the document before it goes to the council meeting.
Jim Ayorekire, a consultant with United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, in his remarks noted that the consultative meeting was aimed at positioning Uganda as a tourism destination and collecting views of the local tourism stakeholders.
“The East African Marketing Strategy gives a background and a situational analysis of the tourism trends and issues affecting tourism marketing in the region as a basis for providing the strategic direction and proposing priority actions to be implemented within the period 2019/20 – 2023/24. The Strategy proposes to achieve a number of objectives in regard to promotion of tourism to and within the community,” he added.
The East African Tourism Marketing Strategy provides an implementation, monitoring and evaluation framework that will help in tracking performance and also measure success which will be in accordance with the EAC implementation, monitoring and evaluation mechanisms and will also undergo a midterm review and end of implementation period evaluation.
It is anticipated that innovative funding mechanisms will be explored to mobilise resources necessary for effective implementation of the strategy.
Speaking to the different tourism stakeholders at Protea Hotel Kampala, UTB Chief Executive Officer, Lilly Ajarova, said that the stakeholder consultative meeting for the EAC tourism strategy is the final consultation for the strategy in Uganda and that there have been a lot of work that has gone into it where all stake holders have been part of the discussions.
“Tourism is a government led yet private sector driven industry, we need your commitment as the private sector and all stake holders, and we require that we get impact from you. At the EAC council meeting level, it is government that makes the representation, but we need feedback from the private sector because you are the biggest and immediate consumers of this strategy, where we will be working well we need to know that we are in the right direction, we need feedback and where things are not working, we require that you inform us because strategies are normally living documents, they are both internal and external factors that come along the way and require that there is review of the strategies that were put in place.
This is a good strategy and we are happy with it as a country, we commit to the implementation of it once it is approved, the commitment is not just at government level, it cuts across to stake holder level. You are here as stake holders, partners of this, we require commitment from all of you, we rely on you for the implementation of the strategy and giving feedback at both the national and regional level,” Ajarova noted.
She also added that Uganda Tourism Board will soon be launching a forum were stakeholders will be engaged on a regular basis, to get ideas, make improvements where there is need to be innovative and strategic so that there is no need to wait for big meetings in order to engage all parties involved in the tourism sector.
The East African Community (EAC) is a regional inter-governmental organization established under Article 2 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community that entered into force in July 2000.
EAC recognizes the significance of the tourism sector to the national economies of its Partner States.
The Sector contributes an average of about 10% to GDP, 20 % to foreign exchange earnings and about 8.3% to employment.