After composing an assessment clarifying how Uganda’s travel industry was catching wildfire, I understood I wanted to make it more clear on how the travel industry development occurs.
Numerous individuals were ascribing our gorilla tourism development in gorilla trekking to the raise of gorilla permits in Rwanda. Rwanda gorilla trekking permits have been more costly than Uganda for a long time however for what reason was Uganda receiving less than 50% of the tourists through out the year?
Uganda even reached to the extent of reducing the price of its permits to $450 during the low season yet at the same time couldn’t draw in the enough numbers, why? Am saying this from an experienced perspective since I have nearness in Budongo Forest, Kibale National Park and Queen Elizabeth and furthermore through marketing experience over the world. It has been hard for anyone to sell Uganda since people who are the last consumer of the tourism products have not been well convinced through logical marketing.
As businesses we have been going over the world to persuade wholesalers about Uganda. The wholesalers are huge companies situated in our source markets for instance in Germany we can discuss with Thomas Cook and Tui among others.
These companies sell thousands of travel destinations and they pursue the needs of the paying visitors and in the West, you will find that, tourists have set up long-term relationship with these wholesalers. Subsequent to securing clients, the wholesalers at that point approach the destination management operators, for example, African Jungle Adventures Ltd to sign contracts.
The wholesalers only deal with quality. In detail, they take a gander at quality of your safari cars, tour companies, insurances and accommodation facilities. For instance African Jungle Adventures Ltd insurance covers any problem in excesses of $5m. The wholesalers will mostly send customers to destination that have put in endeavors in marketing themselves.
For instance Kenya has around 18 Public Relation (PR) firms over the world whose responsibility is basically talking about how wonderful Kenya is. Some years back Uganda hired three Public Relation firms in the Germany, UK and US and these firms have been bringing the press to Uganda in huge numbers and those living in the UK for instance can do this.
It is the last consumer who finds out about Uganda and after that approaches their operators for Uganda as a travel destination. Obviously the PR firms expected to work on low hanging fruits products which has been basically Kibale Forest, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Queen Elizabeth National Parks yet primate parks have limits on the number of visitors that have to enter them every day.
Uganda is offering not more than 35,000 gorilla trekking permits for the entire year the reason, we have to change the way we market our tourism potential in the next round of marketing. Uganda ought to develop its tourism potential using the Nile River as a lead product followed by Lake Victoria provided that the two get developed for the travel industry purposes, they can deal with bigger numbers which will create opportunities for Uganda as a nation.
The other focus ought to be to tell the world that anyone can visit Uganda see no gorillas yet at the same time enjoy the Pearl of Africa. Uganda is also considered as birders’ paradise and this ought to be emphasized during the next round of marketing.
Uganda is still at down far as the tourism and hence any development sends shockwaves to the tourism sector.
I additionally believe that we should utilize a gorilla trekking permits as a lure and those that need to track mountain gorillas should visit also other wildlife parks so that the visitors spend more time in the nation and henceforth more money to be earned by the travel agents.
Even the citizens have to be advised how they can set themselves since money won’t simply stroll into their pockets.
Research by Makerere University Business School uncovered that if a visitor comes to Uganda with $1,000 to spend, they just spend $400 in light of the fact that we haven’t positioned our tourism products well.