Uganda’s tourism marketing and promoting body, Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has Monday launched a partnership with the Uganda Golf Union (UGU) aimed at promoting golf tourism in the country.
The event which saw the UTB outgoing Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Asiimwe and UGU President, Kihika Innocent sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), took place at the Uganda Golf Club, Kitante in Kampala.
The partnership is intended to have Uganda become Africa’s premier golf tourism destination. The initial campaign under the partnership is a joint promotion of the Uganda Golf Open tour which will traverse the country after its launch on March 30.
Speaking during the launch, Asiimwe said UTB has taken active steps by forming partnerships as a strategy to promote Uganda as a top golf tourism destination in Africa.
“Uganda is uniquely placed in such a way that every golf course is near a tourist attraction, for example the Jinja Golf Course is near the source of River Nile, Mbale Golf course is adjacent to Mt. Elgon and Sipi Falls, while Entebbe Golf course is situated near Lake Victoria and the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre,” Asiimwe explained.
“This means that every golfer in Uganda or golfer coming into the country stands a prospect to experience the surrounding tourist attractions. We want to tap into this opportunity,” he added.
On his part, Kihika said that the partnership is an amazing opportunity that UTB presents to the Uganda golf union.
“This partnership is a unique opportunity for us to partner with UTB to promote tourism. Uganda currently has 18 golf clubs. We have the Lake Victoria Serena Golf Club that has a state-of-the-art facilities and is the best golf course in the country,” Kihika said.
“This makes Uganda a suitable destination to play golf. We are rated among the best destinations in Africa to play golf because of several elements like the average rating of golf clubs within this destination and the density of above-average golf clubs,” he added.
Reports indicate that an estimated 5-10 percent of travellers worldwide travel with the sole purpose of playing golf. This number has been steadily increasing over the years as more countries embrace golf tourism as a key source of foreign exchange.
On the global scale, golf contributes about USD 20bn annually and by itself or as a secondary motivator, is able to attract millions of holiday makers across the world.
On average, 56 million people play golf worldwide, with 26.7 million of these residing in the U.S., 5.5 million in Europe, 5 million in Canada, 14 million in Japan, and 3.8 million in United Kingdom, which are all Uganda’s key source markets for tourism.