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Covid pandemic shouldn’t hurt domestic tourism – Kiwanda

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Covid pandemic shouldn’t hurt domestic tourism – Kiwanda

Minister Kiwanda Suubi

The outgoing State Minister for Tourism, Godfrey Kiwanda Suubi has urged Ugandans to continue to visit different parts of the country, before foreigners return as a way to support the tourism sector.

Kiwanda made the comments while delivering his handover speech at the ministry of tourism yesterday.

President Museveni dropped Kiwanda and his Senior Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu for the tourism docket.

But Kiwanda says that as the COVID pandemic continues to ravage the country and the whole world, Ugandans can minimize the adverse effects by stepping out and tour the country.

Kiwanda’s call however appears to counter the government stance on the management of the disease but also on the tourism industry as a whole.

A combination of travel restrictions, poverty and uncertainty as well as the government’s mentality that tourists are foreigners, has combined to frustrate Ugandans from patronising the tourism sector.

Since the start of the outbreak, it is estimated that Uganda has lost more than US$1.6 billion.

The latest available data from the authorities shows Uganda earned 2 billion US dollars from tourism activities in 2017, up from 1.7 billion US dollars the previous year.

Meanwhile Kiwanda has boasted of helping to boost the sector when he citid the growth of foreign tourists from 800,000 to now over two million foreign tourists a year.

Kiwanda who came riding a mountain bike says politics is not an opportunity to make money but rather serve the public for the good of the nation.

He asked the new minister to think of more better ways to move the tourism sector to greater heights so as to compete with Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa.

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