Uganda will spend US$1.2 million on marketing the country’s tourism potential, an addition to the US$ 1.5 million that was spent last year.
The State Minister for Tourism, Godfrey Kiwanda, says government will hire there more public relations firms from China, Japan and Gulf states to market Uganda’s tourism potential. He revealed that each firm will pocket US$ 400,000.
In 2016, Uganda hired three PRs in German, UK and America to market the tourism sector with the aim of bolstering the number of foreign tourists.
The three firms including PHG Consulting headquartered in USA, Kamageo of UK and KPRN of German pocketed US$ 500,000 each.
Kiwanda says government will also renew the contracts of the three firms. He says the overall assignment given to these firms is to leverage Uganda as a prime tourism travel destination, adding that the names of the new firms will be unveiled soon.
Addressing journalists on what the Ministry of tourism has done in implementing the NRM manifesto at Media Centre on Tuesday, Kiwanda argued that marketing of Uganda tourism potential has for instance resulted into a 17 percent increase of tourists from German where one of the companies publicising the country is based.
Kiwanda said Uganda received 1.37 million tourists last year. The country targets to increase the number of tourists to 5 million by 2022 per year.
According to World Bank, Tourism is now the leading foreign exchange earner for Uganda, bringing in about US$1.4 billion annually, which is 26 percent of its total foreign exchange earnings and 9.9 percent of its GDP.
The sector employs about 520,000 people directly, and one million more indirectly, 70 percent of them women and youth.
The World Bank, which assisted Uganda in negotiating the contracts with the three PR firms in November 2017 reported that the PR campaigns, has had £1.2 million worth of media coverage in the UK market, Euro 2 million in other markets, and reached an audience of 991 million in North America.