Uganda to use children to promote local tourism
17 November 2014, 15:45
Kampala - Authorities in Uganda have embarked on promotion of tourism amongst children so that in future the number of people visiting tourist attractions in the country can increase.
Currently, the number of Ugandans who visit national game parks and other gazetted tourism attraction sites is only about 15 percent. 85 percent of those who visit them are mostly foreigners.
Tourism industry officials in the country believe that if students gain interest in tourism while still young, they will continue doing so when they grow up.
Uganda's tourism minister, Maria Mutagamba has encouraged parents, teachers and other grown up citizens to make the young generation love and appreciate local tourism so that the sector can register faster growth.
Speaking Monday at the closing ceremony of the first ever Uganda tourism expo in Kampala, Mutagamba said, ''It is very important to make children gain interest in tourism. Children can be referred to as conveyer belts. Once they get interested in something, they can take it to their parents and other people. Once they start respecting tourism, they will promote it.''
She highlighted the need for every Ugandan to take part in marketing and publicizing tourism for the sector to grow but raised concerns over the low rate of local tourism noting that tourism has been left to foreigners.
''Locally, tourism has not been understood. Local people have not yet appreciated tourism. I urge the media to help us in making local people appreciate tourism,'' she said, adding that local people can benefit from tourism if for instance, they make beads to sell to tourists.
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