The Uganda wildlife authority has come up with incentives and initiatives to support tourism recovery to the Uganda wildlife protected area.
The world has been at a standstill for over three months due to the outbreak of covid19 a global pandemic. Every thing from the economies and lives of people have been dented by the deadly scourge. However, the world has tried to adopt with the new life of living with covid19 by putting up standard operating procedures (SOPs) as they try to invent a vaccine or medication that will prevent the bug.
In Uganda, a few sectors have opened completely as they adhere to the guidelines stipulated but the tourism sector is partially locked. The savannah parks and the hotels in Uganda have been opened for tourism but the international border (airport) where the foreign travellers use as the main entrance and exit is still closed. Though, there is hope that Entebbe airport will be opened any time soon to let the travellers fly into the country.
As the different tourism stakeholders wait for tourism to resume fully, they are going through some hurdles of which some will taken years to be sorted out. Therefore, the Uganda Wildlife Authority a body responsible for managing all protected areas in Uganda has come up with a stimulus packages for its customers the tour operators and the tourists to support them recovery from their losses.
On 16th July 2020, Uganda wildlife authority released a press document with incentives and initiatives to support tourism recovery to the Uganda wildlife protected area. This is what it said;
“ In response to the curtailed tourism activities, occasioned by COVID19 pandemic, Uganda Wildlife Authority would like to announce promotional incentives to catalyse the resumption of tourism in protected areas.
The objective of these incentives is to increase park visitation in the immediate term but also to attract foreign nationals when the international travel ban is lifted.
Pay for 2 days and get one day free in the park
The visitors will pay park entrance fees for two days and be given an extra day free in the national parks. This offer is for the savannah parks, forest parks and wildlife reserves and commences immediately till 30th June 2021.
Tour operator sales commission
Two free gorilla parks for every 30 purchased will be issued as commission. One permit of these will be commission to the tour operator who purchased the permit and the second to the association of the tour operators, where he/she is a member. The offer commences immediately till 30th June 2021. However, only permits bought after 30th June 2020 benefit from the arrangement.
Promotional permits for UTB and AUTO
UWA will continue to offer promotional complementary permits to UTB and AUTO to enable them continue the destination marketing work and bring in agents and public relations firms to the country. The previous guidelines apply.
Buy a gorilla permit and visit other parks
For every gorilla permit bought, a client receives free entry for one day each to Mt. Elgon national park and/or Toro Semuliki wildlife reserve. The visit should be carried out in one round visit across the country. This is effective immediately and runs till 30th June 2022.
Nature walks fees reduced
Nature walks fees have been reduced by 50% from 30$ to 15$ for foreign non residents and foreign residents for Murchison falls national park, Kidepo valley national park, Queen Elizabeth National park, Lake Mburo National Park, and at Kapkwai exploration centre in Mt. Elgon national park. East African citizens will pay UGX 10,000. This will run till June 30th, 2022
Filming and Photography free reduced
The filming fees have been drastically reduced to enable more filming and creation of material for marketing. The filming fees are now charged at 40% cost of the product being filmed for normal photography and filming and 50% of the product cost if filming by drone. For example, in Lake Mburo National Park the filming fees are UGX 8,000 for normal firming or UGX 10,000 if one uses a drone for EAC citizens and USD16 or USD20 for foreigners if they do normal filming or use drones. To film gorillas, the filming fees are UGX 100,000 for EAC citizens and USD 280 for normal filming for foreign non residents with using drones. These rates are effective immediately and run till June 30th 2022.
Mount Elgon Hiking fees
A 20% discount will be offered on hiking fees for Mount Elgon National Park, for groups of 20 persons and above. This is effective immediately and runs till June 30th, 2022.”