Hundreds of tourists book vocations in Uganda during this period to visit parks and especially to trek gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Concerns whether they would cancel their trips or change their itinerary have been quelled by further bookings, according the Mr Moses Mapesa, the executive director of Uganda Wildlife Authority, a body that is charged with keeping the national parks, among other tourism attractions
I have not received any cancellation, something that reassures the sector that the bombs scare will not seriously affect the business, Mr Mapesa assured Tourists on Wednesday morning. Tour operators held a meeting at the Uganda Tourism Board offices in Kampala and resolved on safety measures of tourists in the country and those about to arrive.
Though the primary aim of the meeting the upcoming World Travel Market (WTM) fair in London due in November, Tour operators addressed matters regarding the bombs scare because they could be damaging to their business.
Mr Baluku, a secretary general of the Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO) said than no park has been far closed, so as long as visitors observe safety precautions, the situation is very normal.”
Uganda Tourism Board’s Edwin Muzahura added that he had met the private sector in tourism and have agreed on updating clients on the situation back home and providing factual updates on the website, twitter and face book helps tourists understand the situation as it is, and not to scare them away.
“These scares happen anywhere and tourists cannot stop to come because two bombs are detonated in some parts of Kampala. For example, South Africa was on high alert before and during the World Cup, but millions of football fans watched the games peacefully. The situation in Kampala is very controllable and every other places tourists visit, are more security conscious than possibly they have been.”
Mr Mapesa adds, “People out there understand that there are security concerns in America, Europe, Asia and everywhere.” He said there are reasonable security measures in place to protect the tourists from harm, adding, Uganda Wild life Authority has enough security on its own in all national parks.
“The safaris are done in the total guidance of our staff. We tell our visitors to travel during the day and to be inside by 7p.m.,” he says, adding, “And even when a tourist asked for a self guided tour, we advise them on routes and give them a map.”
Mr Muzahura told Saturday Monitor, the situation is under control and that is why the government has not issued any travel advisories. Mr Baluku adds, the coming months are high season for safaris and if the government serves advisory notices, it would heavily impact on the tourism industry.