State minister for Tourism, Godfrey Kiwanda, says government will hire three more public relations firms from China, Japan and Gulf states to market Uganda's tourism potential. He revealed that each firm will pocket $ 400,000 (Shs 1.4 billion).
Kiwanda says government will also renew the contracts of the three firms. He says the overall assignment given to these firms is to leverage Uganda as a prime tourism travel destination, adding that the names of the new firms will be unveiled soon.
Addressing journalists on what the ministry of Tourism has done in implementing the NRM manifesto at Media Centre on Tuesday, Kiwanda argued that marketing of Uganda tourism potential has for instance resulted into a 17 per cent increase of tourists from Germany where one of the companies publicising the country is based.
Kiwanda said Uganda received 1.37 million tourists last year. The country targets to increase the number of tourists to 5 million by 2022 per year.
According to World Bank, tourism is now the leading foreign exchange earner for Uganda, bringing in about $1.4 billion annually, which is 26 per cent of its total foreign exchange earnings and 9.9 per cent of its GDP.
The sector employs about 520,000 people directly, and one million more indirectly, 70 per cent of them women and youth.
The World Bank, which assisted Uganda in negotiating the contracts with the three PR firms in November 2017 reported that the marketing campaign has had £1.2 million worth of media coverage in the UK market, €2 million in other markets.