President Museveni has assured visitors that Uganda is safe for everyone to visit, despite the outbreak of the Ebola virus which he said is in a few districts but also easy to avoid.
“I have been informed that tourists have been canceling their trips to Uganda and some have even postponed their bookings in hotels and lodges due to the Ebola outbreak. I would like to reassure the international community, tourists and conference organizers and the entire Ugandan population, that government has put in place measures to control the outbreak,” Museveni said on Tuesday evening during his address to the nation on Ebola.
The president noted that many international conferences and meetings have been postponed and some moved to other countries due to the Ebola outbreak but allayed fears of the organisers , noting that Uganda is safe for them.
“The Ebola outbreak is localized to only 6 out of the 146 districts. Uganda remains safe and we welcome international guests. Government is doing all it takes to control this epidemic and avoid exportation outside Uganda.”
According to Museveni, the list of all Ebola contacts has been availed to the immigration authorities to prevent them from international travel but there is also screening at the airport and land border points of entry for temperature, symptoms and history of contact to avoid spread of the virus.
The president insisted that despite the virus being confirmed in six districts in the country, visitors and other members of the public can easily avoid catching the virus if they adhere to measures put in place by government to avoid the spread.
“Ebola is easy to manage if all people cooperate and follow guidance of the health workers. Ebola is spread by contaminated clothing, beddings, surfaces, and body fluids such as saliva, vomitus, sweat, stool, blood and semen of sick people. The main entry points are the mouth, eyes and broken skin especially of the hands. This is why it is important to always wash hands with soap and water or use an alcohol based sanitizer or chlorine solution.”
In a bid to increase her visitors, Uganda has stationed herself as the best place for international conferences but also other visitors to the Pearl of Africa’s tourist attractions.
“In the past Uganda has been hosting many international conferences where delegates fly into the country but leave without spending anything here because they are transported by the organisers from the airport and hotels booked for them,” Bradford Ochieng, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer for UTB said last year.
Through the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions(MICE) all government Ministries, Departments and Agencies would be tasked by UTB to provide a list of conferences that they would wish to either host or attend outside the country to allow for preparation and planning on how to sell Uganda as a top tourist destination.
UTB hopes to tap into the rebirth of the Uganda Airlines to ensure visitors to Uganda can have direct and convenient flights to Entebbe.
Through the Explore Uganda brand, the country christened the Pearl of Africa presents itself as one that promises travelers an adventure of a lifetime.
This is aimed at reinforcing Uganda’s rare and precious range of tourism attractions to the world.
“The Pearl of Africa’ is simply an invitation to the world, to rediscover the beauty of the Pearl. We are asking those who visit our country to immerse themselves in its unique experiences and attractions hence our call to ‘Explore Uganda,” UTB CEO Lillya Ajarova said recently.
Uganda boasts of unique natural, cultural and historical attractions in the world. For example, 54% of the Mountain gorillas in the world are found in Uganda. Apart from the Big Five – lion, leopard, giraffe, elephant and giraffe – travelers track and habituate the Big Two; mountain gorillas and chimpanzees.
World over, Ugandans are also recognized as the friendliest people in the world with a rich cultural heritage, with over 50 tribes. The destination offers a captivating tourism experience packed with unforgettable memories for adventure-seekers such as water-rafting, bungee jumping, mountaineering, nature walks and for avid bird-watchers, Uganda is a home for 1,090 bird species, which is 50% of the bird species in Africa.