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Bad state of roads in Elgon region hamper growth in tourism

By: Melanie Aanyu

Aanyu Melanie | 95timefm

Local leaders and tourism players in eastern Uganda have blamed the persistent low number of tourists to lack of adequate marketing and poor road network hindering accessibility.

Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) said the region receives 10 percent of tourists that visit the country despite being endowed with tourism potential.

Mr Saleh Naminya, the chief executive officer of Casa Uganda Safaris and Casa lodges, said accessibility to tourism sites in most of the districts has remained a huge challenge.

“This is because of factors like poor road networks and unbalanced marketing by the Uganda Tourism Board. The government has only dealt with other regions and ignored ours when it comes to construction of better roads,” Mr Naminya said.

Mr Naminya said Mt Elgon Park has a number of tourism products, which have remained least visited by the tourists.

Mt Elgon Park, which is composed of four protected areas including Mt Elgon, Pian, Upe, Matheniko and Bokora wildlife reserves is a habitat to unique vegetation species and it has about 1,000 waterfalls including Sipi, Sisiyi, Kagera and Bilitanyi Gorges falls, among others.

Aanyu Melanie | 95timefm

Mr Nathan Mafabi, an area leader, on the other hand blamed local governments for failure to map and develop these tourism sites.

Mr Mafabi said the city leadership also needs to do a census on the number of hotels and the beds to know the exact number of tourists the city can house for planning purposes.