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Stanbic Bank
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Stanbic Bank

Uganda registers a surge in the number of tourists

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Uganda has registered a surge in the number of tourists, the just-released 2023 Tourism Uganda Ministry of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities performance report indicates.

According to the report, Uganda registered 1,274,210 tourists in 2023, compared to 814508 who visited the destination in 2022. Arrivals from Africa continue to dominate Uganda’s inbound tourism, with a share of 89.2%. Asia (4.4%), Europe (3.1%), and the Americas (1.9%) continue to be the biggest contributors to overseas tourist arrivals.

The growth was largely driven by an increase in arrivals from Mainland Africa and growth in the country’s traditional overseas source markets, such as the UK, USA and India. At least 126136 tourists arrived from overseas, while 1136216 came from various African countries.

The report indicates that destination Uganda is still grappling with the challenge of growing the overseas market. The overseas share shrank by one percentage point from 12% in 2022 to 11% in 2023, and that for Africa rose by the same margin.

It is worth noting that this is the most critical bracket, as overseas tourists are generally high spenders and thus contribute significantly to foreign exchange earnings.

The reports show that Africa and Asia have fully recovered above the pre-pandemic numbers of 2019. Asia and Africa recorded the best results, with arrivals of 79% and nine percent, respectively, above pre-pandemic levels.

“The Americas recovered 16% of 2019 numbers, Europe 16%, the Middle East 13%, and Oceania eight percent. Although the overseas regions are yet to recover, increases were recorded in the number of visitors from this region in 2023 compared to 2022, with America increasing by 34.4%, Asia 39.4%, Europe 42.4%, and the Middle East 14.7%,” the report notes.

India continued to remain the major overseas market for Uganda in 2023. The USA, UK, China, and Germany maintained the second, third, and fourth places, respectively, in 2022 and 2023.

Bangladesh has come out as a potential overseas market to look out for in 2024, moving from seventh place in 2022 to the top position in 2023 among the top ten potential overseas markets in 2023.

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