Uganda dismisses travel danger to foreign visitors after bombings

Uganda dismissed the danger to international visitors after twin bombings on Sunday that killed 73.

Uganda dismisses travel danger to foreign visitors after bombings

 

Uganda on Thursday dismissed the danger to international visitors after twin bombings on Sunday that killed 73.

The state-run Uganda Tourism Board expects the tourism sector to earn $800 million in 2010, up from $746 million in 2009. The board says the industry employs some 640,000 people.

The government downplayed any lasting security threat following the deadly blasts.

"There is no need to cancel or change itineraries to Uganda. Kampala is safe and security agencies are on full alert," said Serapio Rukundo, Uganda's minister of state for tourism.

"Popular tourist destinations in the country are safe and open to tourists," he told reporters.

But private-sector officials and tour operators said urgent funding was needed in the wake of the attacks to offset the obvious harm to Uganda's marketable image.

"The government should provide some funding to revamp the image which has been spoiled by this attack," said Bonifence Byamukama, director of a tour operating company in Uganda.

Uganda must spend a minimum of $5 million a year specifically for the nation's image, tour company officials said, and they pointed to Kenya's post-election crisis in early 2008 when violence and insecurity sent tourist numbers tumbling.

"In 2008, Kenya immediately spent $15 million to revamp their image (after the crisis), last year they spent another $10 million," one official said.
 

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Temmuz 2010, 15:37
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