The Director, Papa Eloim Tours and Travel Company, Joseph Linos Opio has highlighted the need for tour operators in the country to meet President Museveni and offer the strategies that can best boost the tourism sector in the country.
Opio told SoftPower News that the visit of Kanye West and the wife Kim Kardishian was indeed timely and points to a number of issues that government needs to handle so as to make the tourism industry more appealing and attractive to tourists.
Opio said that the President meeting foreigners over the country’s tourism sector is welcome but should also think of meeting the key players in the sector who are on ground to paint a better picture of the industry.
“We have a lot that must be discussed in case we are to boost our tourism sector and this ranges from roads leading to game parks, issues of security, attending Tourism expos around the world among others,” Opio said.
“I personally want to see government invest more aggressive marketing of the Country’s potential by using digital media in other languages like Chinese, Russian, Dutch, Hebrew, Japanese, Arabic etc, we shouldn’t target only English speakers.”
He noted that indeed there are very beautiful scenes that the country needs to market to the outside world but argued that the security organs must stop aiding nasty scenes on the streets through torture of fellow countrymen.
“We have several grievances, ideas and opportunities to share but we also need assurances that certain ugly scenes we saw play out on the streets during demonstrations which led to several tourists cancellations won’t be played out again; I am actually surprised no company has sued government over loss of business.”
“We however appreciate the efforts and support government has given to us for example allowing us bring in cars tax free and most recently making it possible for Kanye West and his lovely wife Kim Kardashian to visit.”
He added that before the influx of Tourists to Uganda government needs to address certain concerns especially organizing special training sessions for Tour companies, hoteliers and Airport Authorities where some people have constantly complained about losing certain items.
“We are competing with experienced and positively aggressive neighbors whose governments have given operators lots of incentives. We implore that government capitalizes Uganda development Bank and institutes a special fund to give people in the Tourism business with low interest loans.”