Robert Mugabe, a consultant with African Adventure Travellers, however confirmed to The LEP that epidemics like Ebola, riots and demonstrations have a huge impact to their business in Uganda and Africa as a whole. Yiga Moses, a guide with the same company, noted that the country has a lot of potential to boost its tourism industry but government is not doing enough to market the country. “We have everything needed to attract tourists in Uganda as a tourism destination but government needs to put in more efforts to attract new tourists every year,” he said. He advised government to always come out with a clear perspective whenever there is a problem that needs to be explained publically to both local and international levels. “Complications such as epidemic outbreaks in the country, government just keeps silence yet tourists feel more comfortable to have a position from government officials.”
Yiga explained that the challenge at hand is explaining to tourists about the Ebola epidemic in West Africa yet Uganda is a country on the African continent. “Tourists think it is in the whole of Africa. People in the West think Africa is like a hut, that what happens in the one country automatically happens to another,” he lamented. He reiterated that riots and extra use of tear gas affect their business because tourists are so sensitive to things that threaten their lives as they only come to relax and to seek adventure.
He observed that Uganda and its counterparts in East Africa need to open up their boundaries to tourists taking a leaf from their South African counterparts. “In South Africa, countries have opened up the Okavango Delta which stretches from Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and Botswana making it easier for tourists to go to the Delta, as it has been designed in a manner that tourists can get whatever they want from there,” he added.