Uganda’s international tourism expenditure less than 1% of GDP

Uganda’s population will grow by 30 percent over the next decade reaching 59.4 million from the current 45.7 million people. Yet, international tourism expenditure is among the lowest in Eastern Africa.

Uganda is a landlocked country in East Africa with a diverse landscape from the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains and the largest lake in Africa, Lake Victoria. It has abundant wildlife in numerous national protected reserves. The most famous is probably the remote Bwindi Impenetrable National Park which is a renowned mountain gorilla sanctuary.

Growth

Uganda’s population will grow a staggering 30 percent over the next 10 years to reach 59.4 million people by 2030.  Although Uganda won international acclaim in its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, it will have a similar challenge to develop job opportunities and stimulate a fledgeling economy.

Tourism is a key sector targeted for growth with thousands of jobs and millions of investments in hotels, resorts and high-end safari camps.  However, COVID-19 has brought this to an abrupt standstill.  

In spite of the pandemic, the tourism sector is bound to bounce back and will be a key focus for the government to stimulate and ensure tourists return in greater numbers to spend much needed foreign currency and create those needed jobs.

International tourism expenditures – Source: World Bank (2018)

Burundi $23.0 million
Djibouti $22.3 million
Ethiopia $612.7 million
Kenya $262.0 million
Madagascar $309.0 million
Malawi $136.0 million
Mauritius $723.0 million
Mozambique $135.0 million
Rwanda $377.0 million
Seychelles $102.0 million
South Sudan $513.0 million
Tanzania $818.0 million
Uganda $334.0 million
Zambia $478.0 million
Zimbabwe $338.0 million
Total $5,183.0 billion
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