Tourism Minister, Godfrey Ssuubi Kiwanda
Uganda could miss out on as much as $2 billion (UShs7.3 trillion) in tourism revenue this year due to travel restrictions implemented after the coronavirus outbreak, according to Tourism Minister Godfrey Ssuubi Kiwanda.
The East African nation, a popular gorilla-trekking and safari destination, recorded 1.3 arrivals in the year through June 2019, earning it $1.6 billion. Before the onset of Covid-19 the government had forecast this year’s number at 1.5 million, Kiwanda said by phone Thursday.
Most visitors to the country are from the U.S. and Europe, along with Japan, China and India.
The country plans to reopen Entebbe International Airport about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the capital, Kampala, later this month as lockdown measures are eased, Kiwanda said.
Uganda is in talks with lenders including the World Bank to support the industry, he said, without disclosing the amount sought.