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Uganda-Idi Amin Tourism trail

Uganda is set to establish an Idi Amin Tourism trail following last week’s proposal to use the former dictator’s legacy to market tourism in Uganda.

The proposal announced by Stephen Asiimwe, the chief executive of Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) last week, will also see the often ill-mentioned legacy of former Ugandan president Idi Amin turned into an attractive and profitable tourism trail that marches other global tragedies-turned-tourism-hotspots like the holocaust museum in Germany or Rwanda Genocide.

“Idi Amin is the most famous Ugandan ever but no one is making use of him. We have to develop this trail,” said Asiimwe at the post ITB Berlin briefing on Wednesday.

The silver back gorilla- one of Uganda's major tourist attractionsAmong the major cluster groups are Buganda, Busoga, Bunyoro, Kigezi, northern Uganda, and eastern Uganda tourism forum.The other trails to be created are Imbalu carnival, Kampala carnival, school outreaches all in bid to grow Uganda tourism sector.

“In June we hope everybody participates in the Uganda Martyrs trail. We have cut Uganda into clusters – a sustainable domestic domain is critical for development,” said Asiimwe.

The proposals are part of efforts to see the tourism industry turn a new page after years of living below its potential.

Chief executive Asiimwe announced that the ministry of finance has committed to giving $2m (about sh5bn) in the next financial year, which is a big shot in the arm following years of underfunding.

Part of the effort will be geared towards marketing Uganda to her neighbours so more people from the EAC come to Uganda to reverse the current scenario in which majority of Ugandans travel to Kenya. The aim is to make Uganda safari trips more attractive to people from other countries especially the neighbouring Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. The UTB chairman’s dream is to ensure that by the end of the current board’s 3 year tenure, Uganda will have  a National Tourism Fair.

“We want this to be our legacy. There is no forum to provide info on what Uganda can offer,” he said.

Acting Director of Tourism Grace Mbabazi Aulo asked the promoting agencies and tourism operators to build on the goodwill and several accolades that keep pouring in about Uganda’s unique blessings.

Edwin Muzahura, head of marketing at UTB disclosed that their finding indicate that Uganda had one of the highest visits by foreign guests to its stall ever.

Uganda  as a tourist destination is mostly known for Gorilla safaris in the Bwindi Impenetrable forest, the source of the River Nile and white water rafting, wild life viewing in Queen Elizabeth National park, and a few other features.

Uganda’s tourism does need a boost and so hopefully the Idi Amin Tourism Trail will go a long way in achieving that.

Some 700 guests visited the stall in the three-day event while close to 100 deals were sealed