Uganda

Minister asserts poor roads are part of tourism experience

So bad roads are not bad after all.  Ugandan state minister for foreign affairs, Henry Okello Oryem say bad roads in Uganda can be part of tourism experience for people hailing from very affluent countries.

Mr Oryem while leading a team of technocrats from the ministry of foreign affairs said the damage done to roads by the recent prolonged rains ought not to be a cause for concern.

The technocrats were at Parliament to answer queries relating to next year’s Budget Framework Paper.

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“For us, a bad road is cause for complaining. But for people in affluent societies who have never experienced getting stuck on a bad road, pushing a car from a ditch can be part of tourism experience,” Oryem said.

Oryem was responding to MPs’ queries as to whether poor roads in Uganda are partly responsible for the country receiving fewer tourists compared to countries like Kenya and Tanzania.

Oryem noted that despite Uganda not receiving as many tourists as other countries in the region, it continues to receive raving reviews globally.

One reputed publication that has for the last two years highly rated Uganda as one of the countries to visit ‘before one dies’ is Lonely Planet.

Last year, in particular, Chobe, located in Murchison Falls national park was rated in the top five places to visit globally.

Despite being Uganda’s highest foreign exchange earner, the Government continues to spend niggardly sums to market the sector compared to regional heavyweights like Kenya and Tanzania.

MPs have always cited the fact that despite Uganda having the largest number of the endangered mountain Gorillas, Rwanda which has a better marketing strategy continue to make a killing through selling permits to tourists.