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Africa: Uganda Aims for $700 Million Windfall from Birding Tourism by 2030

by Atqnews23
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In a visionary move, Uganda sets its sights on a substantial economic boost through birding tourism, with plans to generate a staggering $700 million annually by 2030.

The ambitious target stems from an initiative to attract a minimum of 100,000 bird enthusiasts each year, showcasing the nation’s rich biodiversity and avian wonders.

According to monitor.co.ug, the earnings were revealed during a three-day 2023 International Conference for Women Birders held in Kampala last week.

READ: Africa: Uganda To Create 3, 000 Jobs From Birding Tourism

Speaking during the conference, tourism stakeholders challenged government and Ugandans at large to explore the endless opportunities presented by birding.

Uganda has more than 1,100 bird species, which is about 11 percent of the world’s total bird population and more than 50 percent of Africa.

However, Uganda is yet to harness the potential presented, which calls for urgent interventions to turn the sub-sector into a cash cow for the country.

READ: Tourism: Uganda Gears Up For Maiden African Birding Expo

During the conference, speakers, one after the other, noted that unlike other countries with limited bird species, Uganda is endowed, making the country a key tourism destination for global birders.

“This is a life time experience for me. Uganda is so outstanding with a variety of birds and the different biodiversity elements. The potential is unlimited and needs to be tapped into,” Ms Andrea Molina, a bird guide from Ecuador, South America, noted.

Ms Maggie Kigozi, a business consultant, said birding has grown by more than 280 percent in the US over the last 10 years, with more than 20 million US citizens taking birding trips in the past few years.

“The same is happening in the UK. How do we bring these tourists here and get a share of the billions they spend on birding trips?” she asked.

The International Conference for Women Birders, which attracted participants from a number of African countries, Europe, US, South America, China, and Australia, among others was organised by the Uganda Women Birders, Uganda Safari Guides Association, Bird Uganda Safaris, and other stakeholders with support from Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU).

It sought to leverage on Uganda’s current birding potential to enhance the tourism industry. Ms Sarah Kagingo, the PSFU vice chairperson, said together with development partners, PSFU would continue to channel resources towards empowering tourism stakeholders, particularly women who remain under-represented.

“Birding is virgin in Uganda and I hope that the ladies listening to us can create themselves a niche in birding, open businesses and explore the several opportunities available. We are happy to continue working with government and development partners to support women in tourism fly,” she said.

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