When Will the COVID-19 Nightmare be over?
A Realistic Look: When will Uganda Tourism return to Normal and Recover from COVID-19 Losses?
When Travelers become confident that the COVID-!9 Risk Factors have been reduced
A Realistic Look at Uganda Tourism: When will Uganda Tourism return to Normal and Recover from COVID-19 Losses?
October 1, 2020, brought glimmers of hope to those involved in Uganda’s Tourism sector. Uganda was one of the few countries in Africa, allowing International Flights.
Safari Tour Operators, Hoteliers, Lodge Owners, Restaurant manager were all hoping for a restoration, a path of recovery from the losses all of us incurred due to the devastation that the COVID-19 Pandemic caused Uganda’s Travel Industry.
Many of us in Uganda Tourism had weathered past Ebola outbreaks both within Uganda and other parts of Africa. We had survived Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army, the Walk to Work, and Election Violence.
2020 had looked so promising after the Tourist Boom Year of 2019. Yes, there were the swarms of locust, the rains and floods, factors that most of us could deal with it. Nothing prepared us for the COVID-19 Pandemic. That flattened many of us and took our breath away.
The reopening of parks and airports had risks attached to it. Foreign tourists could fuel the pandemic in Uganda, causing everything to shut down again, making a meaningful recovery even harder. When one is hungry, one is willing to take risks.
When will Uganda Tourism return to Normal and Recover from COVID-19 Losses? When tourists are no longer anxious about the dangers of traveling during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Uganda, like Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, is open for tourism. Entebbe International Airport might be open, but that does not mean that Travelers will rush to Uganda. Just because you open something does not mean that people will come.
Yes, they should. Uganda Wildlife Authority offers discounts on Gorilla and Chimpanzee Permits, on Savannah Park entrance fees until March 31, 2021.
Tour Operators, Hoteliers, Lodge owners, the Uganda Tourism expressed hope that Uganda Tourism was on the road to normalcy. The normalcy we once knew is gone forever, swept away by extended lockdowns and travel restrictions.
When will Uganda Tourism return to Normal and Recover from COVID-19 Losses? When travelers, tourists are no longer anxious about travel. When the Coronavirus pandemic has subsided, and the risk factors have been significantly reduced.
At present, those below thirty-five are willing to take risks. Those older, especially Senior Citizens, are waiting things out. Those over thirty-five are waiting for COVID to calm down worldwide, especially in their home country such as the US, Canada, Germany, France, where the harsh winds of COVID-19 are still raging and shutting down life afresh. Who can think about travel when the world around you is collapsing, and one is in a survival mode?
One’s savings, if one had any, are gone by now in most cases. One’s Credit Card is maxed out to the limit. No enticing offer of reduced Safari prices will motivate such a person to come to Uganda anytime soon.
People do not want to travel; they are anxious about it and lack resources. Those of us involved in Ugandan Tourism are also worried about the future of tourism in Uganda, and many of us lack the financial resources. The Optimists come along and tell us in Uganda. The answer is Domestic Tourism. Right if Uganda had a substantial middle-class.
When will Uganda Tourism return to Normal and Recover from COVID-19 Losses? The answer is very slowly. Our future will be based on travel safety, confidence, and trust.
In January of 2021, with the second wave of COVID-19 sweeping the globe, psychologically, travelers do not feel safe enough to make the long journey to Uganda. With Unemployment numbers on the rise in Europe and North America, many potential travelers do not have disposable income, and in many cases, their credit cards are maxed out.
Uganda’s Tourism Recovery depends on how well Uganda has controlled the Coronavirus pandemic. It counts how it has implemented Rules and Regulations that will keep the traveler safe on a safari.
Post Covid-19 Travelers are not looking for Overland tours with a truckload of travel companions. A large group of a safari does not attract them. Nor is the price in 2021 a chief motivator, as many might think.
With today’s Traveler, safety comes first. A private Safari brings Safety. The use of small lodges with minimum contact adds to the safety—wildlife and primate encounters, where a safe experience is vital.
Travel Trends are radically changing. What worked in the past will not work in the future. Price, discounts will not restore tourism to its former level. Offering Safaris that offer safety are away from mass tourism. Offer lodges and experiences off the beaten path is the trend for the next few years.
Secluded Parks, Lodges, and spaces are the new Norm, and Uganda does not lack them. Tourists, for now, and soon, want less interaction with other tourists. That is a change from the past. 2021 is not one of sticking to the status quo but one of change.
None of us in Uganda Tourism can predict 2021, 2022, and beyond. The recent mutations of COVID-19 in South Africa and the UK make predicting the future like reading tea leaves.
All the indicators point away from the traditional marketing of standard tours to safaris birthed out of clients’ wishes.
Recovery of Tourism takes time – it has now started as a trickle that will turn into a creek and, hopefully, by 2022, a River that restores what was lost and beyond. Timewise, experts suggest that it will be in late 2022. I am hoping for the fall months of this year.
The question for many Tour Operators is – Can we survive? If you adjust, not only will you survive but thrive.