Uganda will lose $1.6 billion (Sh169b) a year in earnings from tourism as visitors stay away due to the impact of coronavirus, President Yoweri Museveni (pictured)
Tourism is one of Uganda’s economic mainstays as the east African country attracts visitors to see a range of game including lions, giraffes, buffalos and others that roam its savannahs.
Others are drawn by the mountain gorillas in forest in the southwest of the country on the border with Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.
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"Uganda will lose $1.6 billion per annum from the loss of tourism,” Museveni said in a speech on Monday referring to the impact of Covid-19.
The president did not say what time frame he was referring to. Latest available data from the country’s statistics’ office shows Uganda earned $2 billion from tourism activities in 2017, up from $1.7 billion the previous year.
The International Monetary Fund said last month that Uganda’s tourism earnings were expected to fall 54% in the 2019/20 (July-June) fiscal year, and decline 52% in the next year.
Museveni said the economy would also lose a substantial chunk of the $1.3 billion sent home each year by Ugandans working abroad as many would be out of work due to the global economic downturn following the pandemic.