The Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has entered into a partnership with agribusiness companies to help in the promotion and growth of agro tourism.
This development comes after a number of businesses in the districts of Bushenyi, Mbarara and Isingiro were chosen to spearhead the initiative based on their preparedness.
Bushenyi Youth Forum Project, Excel Hort Consult Agribusiness Incubator Limited and Gudie incubation Farm Limited will be used to benchmark an industry that is expected to grow to 18 regions and 51 districts in Uganda.
During an orientation tour of the businesses, Lilly Ajarova, the CEO of UTB, stressed that development of new products and tailoring them to local interests was key in promoting domestic tourism.
“As a board, we have been keen on product diversification. Agro tourism provides an opportunity for that; hence our partnership with Excel Hort Consult. It is going to provide employment opportunities for youth and young women because they are the ones who are mostly involved in agriculture.”
Ajarova also stressed the importance of quality as a pre-requisite for people looking to engage in agro tourism.
“For agro tourism to work, we need to build the skill and capacity that are required to grow agro-tourism. Right now, a few things need to be worked on like accommodation for the tourists at these facilities and also training for the guides to accommodate leisure tourists since most of the tours in agro-tourism are mainly farm tours,” Ajarova added.
Having been crippled by the ban on cross-border travel due to Covid-19, tourism in Uganda has had to refocus its effort to the promotion of domestic tourism, a shift from the reliance on foreign visitors.
Recently, a promotion to encourage Ugandans to tour their country more, dubbed Take on the Pearl was launched with the view of destroying the myth that Ugandans don’t like to tour.