By Spy Uganda
The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) on Monday August 3, 2020, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) in a bid to boost Uganda’s tourism industry despite the challenges posed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The move is aimed at using broadcasters in Uganda to promote the tourism sector by making films, publishing and or broadcasting all content about Uganda’s tourist sites and destinations to the outside world.
The MoU was signed between Eng.Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo, AG Executive Director UCC and Ms Lilly Ajarova, UTB’s Chief Executive Officer and was witnessed by senior officials from both organisations.
“The Commission and Uganda Tourism Board @UgTourismBoard have partnered in a collaboration to jointly market destination Uganda, and improve Uganda’s brand as a film & tourism destination,” the Commission tweeted shortly after sealing the deal.
The UTB also tweeted that; “Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) and Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) sealed the deal to jointly promote and advance destination Uganda’s brand as a premier film and tourist destination.”
Key among the matters agreed upon between UCC and UTB is ensuring that all tourism operators and tourist destinations put in place Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to ensure prevention of the spread of COVID-19 among local and foreign visitors.
Tourism is one of Uganda’s leading foreign exchange earners and according to President Yoweri Museveni the country is likely to lose over 1.6 billion U.S. dollars in tourism revenue because of COVID-19.
It should be noted that the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 brought the world to a standstill, and tourism has been the worst affected of all major economic sectors. Against a backdrop of heightened uncertainty, up-to-date and reliable information is more important than ever, both for tourists and for the tourism sector.
Uganda reopened its national parks for tourism amid the COVID-19 pandemic, following a partial lifting of the lockdown last month.
The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) said in a statement that all the savannah national parks are open for tourism after Standard Operating Procedures were put in place to avoid the spread of COVID-19 in the protected areas.
“All tourism activities within the protected areas shall be undertaken in a manner that ensures all guidelines of the ministry of health and the directives of His Excellency the President are adhered to,” the statement said in part.
The UWA said primate parks, however, remain closed to the public until further notice.
The conservation agency said there will be mandatory temperature screenings of tourists at all the key gates of the protected areas. Hand sanitizing and social distancing will be adhered to in vehicles and boats in the parks.
Large groups exceeding 25 tourists shall not be permitted in the parks at the same time for the same activity, according to the UWA, so as to ensure social distancing.
Despite the parks being open, the country’s borders, including Entebbe International Airport, remain closed as one of the government measures to avoid importing COVID-19 cases, although the government is making preparations to reopen them.