Nordic Tour Operators Vow to Invest in Uganda

HABARI DAILY I Kampala, Uganda I Having toured Uganda since 4th November, 2023 Nordic tour operators and journalists managed to  move to several tourist attractions like Kazinga Channel,  National Parks and water bodies.

The journalists were led by the Ambassador of Denmark to Uganda, Mr. Signe Winding Albjerg and the Ambassador of Uganda to Denmark, Ms. Margaret M. Otteskov.

The Nordic Region consists of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland, as well as the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Åland.

During the meeting with the Ugandan leader, President Yoweri Museveni at State House Nakasero, they were informed that Uganda is a unique country which is naturally endowed with various tourist attractions.

“Uganda is unique. There are only two other places on the globe which are like Uganda and one of them is a place in South America called Ecuador, the second other place is a part of Kenya near Mount Kenya,” said Museveni, adding that the uniqueness of these three places on the globe is that they are right on the equator.

“Here you are in the Northern hemisphere and if you go 5kms from here you go to the South hemisphere, so Uganda is in both,” he explained.

“We are right on the equator but with a high altitude. Here where we are sitting is 1,200 metres above sea level.  Some parts of Uganda, go up to 5,000 metres above the sea with permanent snow. So because of that, you have the sun all year around. This is really unique and there’s no doubt about that,” he added.

Museveni noted that Uganda has a lot to offer as far as the tourism sector is concerned. He said Uganda has a good number of lakes,  mountains,  rivers, wildlife such as mountain gorillas, just to mention a few.

“There is no doubt that this part of the world is unique and the population is ancient, so we have not had much interaction with outsiders. If you have never seen original Africans, here they are and they are very friendly,” he said.

“I think we have got the biggest number of mountain gorillas and you are right that our nature is actually more interesting than even the mountain gorillas.”

Museveni assured the delegation that if they want relaxation and comfort, Uganda is the only place to go.  He also requested them to promote the country’s tourism sector to the outside world.

“The latitude and altitude of Uganda are the most favorable. I don’t want to be anywhere else on the globe, I’m very comfortable here. I’m glad that the Nordic people have discovered Uganda now.”

The Minister of State for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Mr. Martin Bahinduka Mugarra recognized the contribution of tourists from the Nordic countries, saying that they play a vital role in promoting Uganda’s tourism.

“We used to get around 17,000 visitors from the Nordic countries before COVID-19.  Now the difference between them and other visitors is that they tend to stay longer and spend a bit more,” he said.

He said that on average, the Nordic visitor would spend around 6,000 USD dollars in Uganda. “So even with the small number of 17,000, you can see they brought in 102 million USD. So it’s a good group to target,” he added.

“The tourists have reduced a bit because of Covid but we can work and bring them back because the numbers are good in terms of business.”

Ms.  Otteskov said that as the embassy,  they are ready to promote Uganda’s uniqueness to the world.

“We don’t talk so much about our beauty. One of the things that left these people restless is the Kazinga Channel. They said they have never seen it anywhere, they were amazed that such a place exists on earth,” she said.

Ambassador Albjerg told Museveni that Denmark is willing to work with Uganda to promote the country’s tourism sector.

“There’s potential that we can come to visit Uganda more. Nordic people love to travel and explore new things. Our aim with this delegation is to see how we can inspire others to travel. We are here to give these people a feel of what Uganda can offer and see how we can target Uganda in a way that we can attract more tourists to visit this country.”

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