Jinja — State minister for Tourism Godfrey Kiwanda has criticised hotel owners in Busoga sub-region and the entire country for doing little to improve the services being rendered in the industry.
According to Mr Kiwanda, poor hotel services partly explain why the country's tourism industry is not thriving as much as it should.
Speaking recently to Busoga sub-region hotel owners, taxi drivers, tourism sites owners and the local leaderships in Jinja Town, Mr Kiwanda attributed the low numbers of tourists coming into the country to poor facilities as well as wanting customer care service.
He said: "If you the industry players do not improve then it will be difficult to sustain tourism and have visitors stay here for long."
He continued: "You, particularly the hotel owners should be aggressive in enforcing much higher standards, develop unique products and improve your marketing skills otherwise you will be superintending a collapsing business."
The minister said government is committed to improving infrastructure such as roads across the country, guarantee peace and stability, things he said should be used by the industry players to attract tourists and boost tourism.
Uganda Tourism Board chief executive officer Stephen Asiimwe said hotels should employ professionals who will be tasked with enforcing the required standards expected of the hotel industry.
He also said good customer care is key, encouraging the industry players to start using that magic with the local communities before considering foreign tourists.
Tourism industry statistics indicate that Kenya receives closely 8 million tourists in a year compared to Uganda that receives about 1.5 million to 2 million visitors a year, the country is targeting to reach the 4 million mark by 2020.