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Monday, 11 May, 2020, 15 : 00 PM [IST]

Uganda Tourism looking at 18-month period for recovery from COVID-19

The Uganda Tourism Board is expecting that it will take 18 months for the industry to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Talking to the press and select travel agents through video conferencing, Lilly Ajarova, CEO, Uganda Tourism Board, said that the country had enforced lockdown well before the first case of COVID-19 was reported on its soil to arrest its spread. 

She was addressing the audience at a Q&A organised by Koncept Africa. Koncept Africa is a newly launched vertical of Pearl Tourism & Leisure Group, and is aimed at connecting African tourism vendors to the players in the Indian outbound market. As part of the launch process, Jayesh Ashar, MD, Pearl Tourism & Leisure Group, interviewed Ajarova.

“Currently, we are following the WHO guidelines along with the directives issued by our Ministry of Health to ensure adequate measures are taken for tourist safety. As per our Presidential order, it is mandatory to wear masks in public areas. We are looking at an 18-month period for recovery and are preparing the same. It is an on-going process,” Ajarova said.

During the interview, Ashar asked Ajarova about the tourism possibilities in Uganda and its differentiating factors compared to the other nations in the African region. He also touched upon the investment opportunities in Uganda, recovery process and measures being put in place to ensure the resumption of tourism is seamless once restrictions are lifted. 

The CEO informed that the country will gradually lift border restrictions and all incoming tourists will have to undergo a health screening. “We are also training our tourist guides, hotels and restaurants on the permissible limit of guests per vehicle and in dining areas to maintain social distancing measures.”

A relatively new entrant in the tourism space, Uganda is looking as positioning itself as a preferred destination in Africa, especially for Gorilla trekking with its competitive pricing. “Uganda is a land of diverse offerings from wildlife, adventure, history & culture and natural wonders.”

A few more 'Meet The Host' themed interviews are in the pipeline in the coming weeks featuring key players from the African tourism sector.

 
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