KAMPALA — With Eagle Air being the only service provider of domestic air flights, Uganda has embarked on a vigorous campaign to search for more investors in domestic air travel.
Uganda's Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu told a presidential investors round table in Kampala for Gulf States that the surge in tourist numbers especially up market tourists necessitates more investments in the sector.
"For the past years, we're receiving increasing number of tourists from 940,000 in 2010 to over a million now. These tourists need quick, reliable and tiresome free means of transport to our national parks. It's why we're calling upon on you to invest in domestic air travel throughout the country," said Kamuntu while speaking to members of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Of recent, the government has been working out measures to improve to international standards the existing aerodromes and airfields like the one in Kasese, Arua, Gulu, Jinja, Soroti and Kotido to provide the necessary infrastructure.
Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) include Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Oman. They converged in Kampala to discover the available investment opportunities on offer.
Kamuntu also expressed Uganda's interest in the establishment of white sand resort beaches in Ssesse Islands in Kalangala district (central Uganda) with the total investment expected to consume $4.2m. He told the gulf investors that the beaches will have lodging facilities with at least 80 executive and 12 standard rooms.
"We also want investors in the construction of a wildlife forest lodge in Mabira forest, Budongo forest and Queen Elizaberth National park. We hope each project will take about $1.1m. Each forest lodge will have 20 spacious cottages with en suite facilities," he noted.
The Gulf Cooperation meet that was officially opened by Uganda's president Yoweri Museveni was aimed at spurring more trade and investment between the GCC and the East African regions, specifically Uganda.
It was also aimed at showcasing the strength of the Ugandan economy and opportunities for investment, which include adding value to the agricultural produce, mining and mineral beneficiation, tourism, ICT and infrastructural development.
Kamuntu added that Uganda has opportunities for investment in the establishment of a tourism and hospitality training institute at a tune of $3.4m.