Uganda is among the 10 destinations that are on course to turn into popular tourists’ destinations in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to a World Bank report.
The Tourism in Africa: Harnessing Tourism for Growth and Improved Livelihoods report indicates that Uganda together with Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Senegal, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Seychelles are scaling up tourism and emerging as a tourism destination.
The report, classified under the emerging tourism destinations, priorities countries that are performing well in terms of quality and competitiveness.
The report ranked Kenya among the eight destinations that have grown beyond scaling up to the consolidation stage, with relatively mature tourism sectors and only working on deepening and sustaining successes.
Kenya ranks in the same league with South Africa, Mauritius, Namibia, Botswana, Ghana, Cape Verde and Tanzania in terms of consolidating the tourism sector and have the highest economic and tourism performance in region.
Burundi on the other hand, falls under the countries that have potential, indicating that it has shown some interest in tourism but it still lacks adequate governance of the sector.
Despite having some basic infrastructure for tourism, the country still faces market failures pertaining to regulation, resources, and institutions, which also affect macro-economic development.
The other countries that fall under the initiating category are Benin, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Angola, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Lesotho, Nigeria, Swaziland and Gabon.
The Africa World Bank vice president, Mr Makhtar Diop, said the continent has to fully recognise the potential of tourism to act as a vital source of economic development.
He added that with tourism contributing more than 9 per cent of global GDP, African countries are now in their best-ever position to harness the development promise of expanded, sustainable tourism.
On a sub-regional basis, tourism contributes most to East Africa’s GDP (5.5 per cent), with the safari being the primary tourism product for East Africa and Southern Africa.
The sector contributes 3.4 per cent to Southern Africa’s GDP followed by West Africa (2 per cent), with tourism contributing just 1.7 percent to Central Africa’s GDP.