Proposed law on NGOs could hurt tourism – US

KAMPALA:
The US government has announced a Shs27 billion ($10 million) four-year package to Uganda for bio-diversity conservation but warned about the proposed re-introduction of the anti-gays law and the NGO Registration (Amendment) Bill which, it said, will further weaken Uganda’s faded tourism potential.

US Ambassador to Uganda Scott DeLisi said since Uganda’s situation is already riddled with corruption, impunity and poaching, the proposed legalisations to outlaw same sex marriages and crack the whip on civil society organisations would continue to wreak the country’s already tainted human rights record.

“Uganda is still a destination for high-end independent travellers who are looking for a unique experience. These travellers also pay attention, more than most, to the political and social environment in the countries they visit,” Mr DeLisi told the 39th African Travel Association (ATA)ongress in Kampala on Wednesday.

“If a government is seen as indifferent, there are those who will spend their travel dollars elsewhere,” he added.

However several guest speakers appealed for positive media reporting of Uganda and Africa to neutralise negative perceptions.

ATA president Peter Bergman said the Ebola scourge in West Africa has had a huge impact on tourism in African but said the conference would come up with strategies on how to move forward.

The conference was opened by President Museveni who appealed to tourists to visit Uganda.

About the conference
The five- day conference, which ends Sunday, with the theme “Tourism is Everyone’s Business”, brings together dignitaries from several countries and players in the tourism industry under their umbrella-ATA to discuss both the challenges and opportunities in tourism. ATA was founded in 1975 and is headquartered in New York to promote Africa to the outside world.

musisif@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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