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Uganda Tourism Board Appeals for Funding Amidst Security Threats

In the wake of security threats posed by the infiltration of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) into Uganda, the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) is making urgent appeals for funding to safeguard the nation’s vital tourism sector. Seeking approximately Shs5 billion from parliament, the UTB aims to engage international media to counteract the adverse impacts on tourism following the recent announcement by the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF).

The UPDF announced on Monday the infiltration of an ADF group into Uganda with the intention of carrying out revenge attacks. This unsettling revelation has already prompted the cancellation of tourist trips, raising concerns within the tourism industry. Lilly Ajorova, the Chief Executive Officer of UTB, emphasized the critical need for increased engagement with international media amidst the prevailing uncertainties.

Ajorova highlighted the necessity of additional funding to bolster efforts in addressing the concerns raised by the UPDF announcement. She stressed the importance of countering negative perceptions and mitigating potential travel advisories that could deter tourists. With only Shs1.2 billion currently allocated for media engagements, Ajorova emphasized the inadequacy of this budget in effectively managing the crisis.

The tourism board has experienced a surge in inquiries and concerns from both local and international stakeholders since the UPDF announcement. Ajorova emphasized the urgency in countering these concerns to reassure potential visitors about the safety of Uganda as a tourist destination. She underlined the role of international media in verifying the security situation and disseminating accurate information to potential tourists.

Deo Akiiki, the deputy spokesperson for the UPDF, reiterated the gravity of the situation in a press release on Monday. Akiiki confirmed the infiltration of an ADF group led by Ahamed Muhamood, alias Abu Waqas, a Tanzanian-born ADF bomb expert, with intentions of carrying out revenge attacks. This confirmation has heightened concerns about the security landscape in Uganda, particularly within the tourism sector.

In response to these security threats, the UTB’s appeal for additional funding underscores the imperative of safeguarding Uganda’s tourism industry. Tourism plays a pivotal role in Uganda’s economy, contributing significantly to employment and foreign exchange earnings. Therefore, concerted efforts to address security challenges and mitigate their impact on tourism are essential for sustaining economic growth and development.

As Uganda navigates through these security challenges, collaborative initiatives involving government agencies, the private sector, and international partners are crucial. By prioritizing investments in security and promoting Uganda as a safe and attractive tourist destination, stakeholders can work together to mitigate the adverse effects of security threats on the tourism sector. The appeal for funding by the Uganda Tourism Board represents a proactive step towards safeguarding the nation’s tourism industry and preserving its economic vitality amidst prevailing security concerns.



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