Ambassador H.E. Henk Jan Bakker of the Kingdom of the Netherlands launches 3-year Dutch-funded “Tourism Trails in the Pearl of Africa” project to improve and diversify products in adventure and cultural tourism.
Adventure tourism is the fastest growing tourism niche worldwide. With its diverse landscapes and welcoming people, Uganda has tremendous opportunities to further develop adventure and cultural tourism. In a recent study – commissioned by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands – product development and access to skills training were considered crucial to the further sustainable development of the sector, while adventure and cultural tourism were particularly emphasized as areas with untapped potential. The “Tourism Trails in the Pearl of Africa” project, will harness this potential in the coming years.
The project is a collaboration of seven Ugandan and Dutch companies (TransAtlas Bike/Red Dirt Uganda, Kara-Tunga Arts & Tours, UG-Motobike, Matoke Tours, Bergwandelen.com, Home of Friends Guesthouse and EyeOpenerWorks) who will develop tourism products and provide trainings aiming at further professionalizing adventure and cultural tourism in Uganda. The activities will be carried out in close collaboration with relevant Ugandan stakeholders in tourism and hospitality, including the Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) and the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA). Among others, a national cycling route, skills training of hiking guides, a marathon in Sebei and a cultural tourism trail in Karamoja are on the agenda of the project partners.
The launch of the “Tourism Trails in the Pearl of Africa” project on January 22nd – in the presence of representatives of the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife & Antiquities – emphasizes the importance the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands attributes to the tourism sector in terms of GDP growth, employment opportunities and nature conservation. Martijn Harlaar, founder of EyeOpenerWorks is clear about the ambitions of the project: “Further development of activities like cycling, hiking and running tourism, will help tourism to strengthen its role as economic powerhouse and employment creator in Uganda, while spreading the economic benefits of tourism more evenly across the country.”