Uganda Wildlife Authority and their partners, USAID-STAR Project on Wednesday launched the latest state of the art wildlife portal featuring all the 10 national parks, game reserves and activities UWA is undertaking to preserve Uganda’s precious wildlife and protected areas.Uganda’s Prime Minister Mr. Amama Mbabazi who presided over the launch at the prestigious Kampala Serena Hotel remarked that “the new website portal could not have come at a better time than now when we are celebrating key milestones in the tourism sector and enjoying international accolades from reputable international institutions such as Lonely Planet, National Geographic and New York Times”.
Supported by US government through USAID Sustainable Tourism in the Albertine Rift (STAR) program, the new development is considered cornerstone for future e-marketing and combined use of the social media through links to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and even Trip Advisor, allowing site visitors to instantly share their most liked feature with their social network friends.
The prime minister observed that “I have had a thorough look at the website we are launching and could not help noticing the great effort that was put in making it as informative and interactive as possible. It was a sign of ingenuity to include Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and YouTube on the website.”
Mr. Mbabazi also appealed to the ministry of Tourism to work hard at diversifying the tourism attractions on offer in this country to attract more visitors. More efforts are needed for product development and diversification based on strategically selected markets, he stated.
The minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage Professor Ephraim Kamuntu applauded Uganda Wildlife Authority for the development which will address the much needed marketing for Ugandan products, attractions ad traditional hospitality. He argued that Uganda can be transformed into the Mecca, Rome or Jerusalem of Africa as the most preferred tourism destination.
The US Deputy Ambassador, Mrs. Virginia Blaser said “With new brands and rich web content for all ten national parks, the Uganda Wildlife Authority’s new website is a major step forward to market Uganda. Every person on the globe with internet access is now just a keystroke away from being inspired to see the wealth of what Uganda has to offer. Many visitors come to Uganda to see only the gorillas. This website is a great way to convince those tourists to visit more parks, stay longer, and of course, spend more money…”
The Uganda Wildlife Authority Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Andrew Seguya said the website has already been ranked as the best in Africa.
The organization has also rolled out a new plan to rebrand all the ten national parks with advanced signage as well as key entry points and the major highways leading to protected areas.