Makerere University students have embarked on a campaign to boost domestic tourism by visiting the various tourist attractions in the country as a way of encouraging other Ugandans to follow suit.
Fourteen students mainly from the College of Business and Management Sciences (COBAMS) and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHUSS) started the campaign last weekend by camping on the beaches of Kalangala district on Lake Victoria.
The coordinator of the group, Mutoni Fadhilah, said that the students intend to visit all the major tourist attractions in the country to encourage other Ugandans to support the tourism industry.
"We want to show Ugandans that we can boost our tourism industry by spending our little money on our country instead of taking it abroad," said Mutoni.
The group travelled by the government owned ferry, MV Kalangala from Nakiwogo landing site in Entebbe and they docked at Kalangala after 5pm on 6th October. Once at the island, the group settled for Pearl Gardens camping site where they were rented tents for twenty thousand Shillings each night.
Kalangala boasts of some of the country's white sand beautiful beaches cushioned by the thick natural forests that line the shores. Many foreign tourists were sighted strolling the beaches.
"We were able to visit 11 beaches of Kalangala in two days with our shoestring budget. The beautiful birds and natural forests on that island are a must see and the whole trip is a stress reliever," remarked Lukwago Jesse , a second year student journalism who was part of the group. He said the group will continue traversing the country to tour all the national parks since there is a deliberate effort by government to promote domestic tourism by offering huge discounts to local tourists.
Stephen Asiimwe, the executive director of Uganda Tourism Board, announced three years ago how his board was committed to promote domestic tourism by offering discounts and incentives to locals.
In 2017, according to the handbook 'Economic Impact of Travel and Tourism' authored by the Ministry of Tourism, Uganda registered about 1500 foreign tourists who brought in foreign exchange of over 750 million dollars. If Makerere University students succeed in promoting domestic tourism, this figure could significantly go up.