At the recently ended Africa Travel Association – ATA, experts in the tourism industry have advised Uganda to utilize its great history about the former president as well as ferocious dictator Idi Amin who not only persecuted but also killed hundreds and hundreds of people including the Christian martyrs during the 19th century as one of their selling point to draw in African tourists into this East African nation.
across the East African Region, The 3rd largest economy has been trying to launch a dominant tourism sector through marketing its African wildlife worldwide, however from the discussions during the ATA summit, Uganda was cautioned that it might be challenging to sell Uganda as one of the Wildlife Safari destination considering that the neighboring nations of Rwanda, Kenya as well as Tanzania already have an advantage in this.
Ikechi Uko, the organizer of Akwaaba African Travel Market in Nigeria’s capital Lagos – Ikechi Uko said that its such things that will actually help connect with Africa’s history.
He added that almost all Africans have heard about Idi Amin, and just as several Africans travel to South Africa to visit the grounds of the Apartheid as well as the legend Nelson Mandela, in the same way they will come to Uganda to see and learn about Idi Amin. In conclusion he said that the country needs to build a museum as well as a monument for Idi Amin.
Because of his brutality and authoritarian rule during his governess as Ugandan president during the 1970s, Idi Amin Dada is termed as the ‘Butcher of Uganda’ and is perhaps the most famous of all past independence dictators in Africa.
Amin took over power through a military coup back in 1971 and he governed Uganda for Eight full years. It is estimated that between one hundred thousand and half a million people were tortured or imprisoned or even killed. In 1979 He was thrown out by Ugandan nationalists, and after that he left for exile. In 2003 He passed away in Saudi Arabia.
With regards to the Uganda martyrs, players within the tourism industry thinks that in case they are properly promoted, they have the possibility to turn this country Uganda into the leading sacred destination especially for holidaymakers interested in religious tourists (Faith-Based Tourism).
Faith-Based Tourism | Religious Tourism
Every year on 3rd June, thousands of pilgrims travel to Namugongo to pay homage to the Uganda martyrs that died between 1885 and 1887. Although many others were killed across the regions of Buganda and Busoga, the couple of them that were murdered at Namugongo continue to be the face of all these people, since their scenario was properly documented by the then French White Fathers, among whom was Fr Simeon Lourdel.
The ATA youth chapter coordinator for Uganda Eric Ntalo was quoted saying that the Uganda martyrs are the best thing that can draw religious tourists into Uganda. He adds that Uganda possesses the smallest church on the planet – the Bethel church, found in Nebbi that seats no more than three people.
Uganda has the 2nd biggest mosque in Africa – the Old Kampala mosque which was greatly financed by the former leader of Libya Muammar Gaddafi during its construction in addition to the largest church within East Africa – Liberty Worship Center belonging to Pastor Imelda Namutebi that seats as many as 15,000 people.
That aside, Uganda has the sole Bahai temple on the African continent in addition to the black Jews – Abayudaya found in Mbale.
Ntalo added that Faith-based tourism is getting momentum internationally and for that reason, its important to come up with strategies that attract faith-based countries like Nigeria, Italy, Morocco as well as Israel among others.
In accordance with the 2013/14 Uganda tourism industry yearly performance report, the number of tourist visitors increased to 1,206,334 in 2013 from 2012’s 1,196,000.
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