News and Views

UWA launches tourism website

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The Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) has launched a website portal with 10 micro-sites representing Uganda’s national parks to tap in the new wave of electronic marketing and guide tourists visiting Uganda.

The new web portal designed with interactive features like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and YouTube will improve Uganda’s public image, portray Uganda’s natural beauty and validate Uganda as tourists’ premium destination, according to UWA.

“There was a missing information gap because one can’t easily trace where Uganda’s beauty is found and the distance to reach his/her destination. The new portal has come to bridge this gap,” Dr Andrew Sseguya, the UWA executive director, said during the launch of the website portal dubbed www.ugandawildlife.org, in Kampala on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister, Mr Amama Mbabazi, who presided over the ceremony, said: “The Ministry of Tourism should work hard to diversify tourism attractions the country can offer. We are currently over relying on the wildlife, especially mountain gorillas, to attract visitors to our country that calls for product development and diversification based on strategically selected target markets.”

Mr Mbabazi said Ugandans must protect the achievements so far scored in tourism. He added that there is need to put more emphasis on promotion of cultural tourism and faith-based tourism.

He revealed that tourism would in the forthcoming budget be given a lion’s share because of the huge potential tourism can play in the socio-economic transformation and creation of job opportunities.

The American Deputy Ambassador, Ms Virginia Blaser, said in the age of on-line communication, the internet is a first stop for most foreigners planning a vacation.

“With new brands and rich web content for all 10 national parks, UWA’s new website is a major step forward in the marketing of Uganda. Anyone with Internet access is now just a key stroke away from being inspired by the wealth of what Uganda has to offer. Many visitors come to Uganda to see only gorillas yet the website is a first step in convincing those tourists to visit more parks, stay longer, and of course spend more money,” she said.

mssebuyira@ug.nationmedia.com

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