Uganda has a wide range of tourism assets with significant potential to contribute much more to economic growth, employment and poverty reduction in the country. This richness is reflected in the highest concentration of primates in the world (including rare mountain gorillas), an ever-burgeoning bird list of over one thousand species, a special combination of natural and cultural assets, and an extraordinary variety of landscapes from arid savannas to lakes, tropical forests and high mountains. This wealth of biodiversity competes with other interests, issues, and needs—requiring a system-wide approach to ensure stakeholders work together to understand common interests and work collaboratively towards common goals. Utilizing this approach will promote growth within the tourism sector while protecting the natural resources upon which the destination and its communities depend.
STAR intends to improve the competitiveness of Uganda’s tourism industry at the park level as well as the regional and national level through three broad thematic areas of focus:
1) Increase community revenues through tourism, including tourism product development and packaging, community tourism training, creating market linkages and direct marketing;
2) Increase funding for conservation activities through marketing, PR, fundraising, travel philanthropy and corporate social responsibility programs, better marketing and branding of the National Parks themselves, and investments in tourism facilities, products and services that generate conservation benefits; and
3) Increase partnership and communication in support of conservation and tourism by building partnerships with and between tourism stakeholder groups (such as the oil industry and tourism), working with partners on conservation and tourism sensitization programs, and engaging the media in support of tourism awareness.