On February 20th, 2020, one of the projects funded by the Government of the Republic of Uganda through the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (RIF) held their inception workshop Central Teaching Facility 2 (CTF-2) Makerere University. The research team for this project is being led by Dr. John Mutenyo from Makerere University’s College of Business and Management Studies-School of Economics-Department of Economic Theory & Analysis. This project is titled ‘Determinants of Local and International Demand for Tourism in Uganda’. This research team is investigating factors that motivate foreigners to visit Uganda and the challenges they encounter while in the country. They are also further investigating factors that constrain local citizens from touring the country.
This study aims at examining why international tourists choose Uganda as one of their tour destination, investigating the factors that hinder Ugandan citizens from visiting tour places within the country, examining the impact of social-economic characteristics of tourists on the length of stay in Uganda, assessing the factors that would constrain tourists from staying longer in Uganda and assessing the impact of destination attributes such as quality of facilities, safety, hospitality and accessibility on the length of stay of both the local and foreign tourists.
This project’s inception workshop was held in a half day-long engagement bringing together over 50 participants (male and female). The selection of participants was sector-rich with representation from Uganda Tourism Board, Makerere University faculty, Association of Uganda Tour Operators, Uganda Wildlife Education and Conservation Centre, Uganda Tourism Association, Tour guides Forum Uganda and others from private tour companies.
The Principal of COBAMS, Prof. Eria Hisali graced the project launch as Chief Guest. He was extremely pleased that after several engagements with the Government of the Republic of Uganda, they allocated funding to further support research and innovation at Makerere University. ‘This funding to Makerere University shows the value that the government of Uganda attaches to research and innovation as a catalyst to Uganda’s economic growth and development’ Prof. Hisali said. He pledged his support to Dr. Mutenyo and his team urging them to extensively engage stakeholders while conducting the research and to widely disseminate their findings.
RIF was represented by Carol Kamugira, Engagement Officer and Ronald Maseruka, Research Officer. Kamugira in her remarks noted that Tourism is arguably the leading foreign exchange earner for Uganda however for long it has been majorly left for the private sector to drive especially the marketing and promotional activities. Through RIF, the government has provided yet another platform to support tourism thereby boosting efforts by the private sector. Key areas of concern that were raised by the stakeholders were on how to join a RIF research team and how to collaborate with Makerere University especially where similar studies have already been carried out by the Private Sector.