Hotel growth in Uganda started in the 19th century, a decade after independence during the colonial period. This saw the growth of accommodation, transport and infrastructure in Uganda (tourism.) The political instability during the 1970’s and 1980’s led to the decline in the hotel industry as well as tourism. Hotels were closed, destroyed and made into police barracks like the Nile mansions.
The taking over of power in 1986 by the National Resistance movement (NRM) led to the revival of the tourism industry. Uganda has consistently worn foreign and international relations, support of large international organizations like World Tourism Organization, and has attracted internal and external investors. This has led to the rehabilitation of leisure and tourism facilities like hotels.
Visitor arrivals have grown due to the increase in tourism demand from the 512,000 in 2004 to about 700,000 in 2005.Uganda’s tourism sector has continued to grow and is expected to earn the country over $500m (about sh905b) this year from $360m (sh651.6b) last year.
Uganda has a wide range of excellent hotels and accommodation facilities located in all regions of the country. These are mainly located in the main towns of Kampala (Capital City), Jinja, Entebbe, Gulu, Mbarara, Mbale, Fortportal, Arua.
Uganda is well known for its hospitality and the welcoming nature of the local people, which has promoted the growth and development of hotels and other accommodation facilities.
Upmarket, low budget and more affordable hotels and accommodation include Sheraton Kampala hotel, Serena hotel (formerly Nile hotel), Speke hotel, Grand Imperial hotel, Emin pasha hotel, Hotel Equatoria, hotel Africana, Tourist hotel, Hotel Diplomate, Holiday Express hotel. Imperial Resort beach hotel, Botanical beach hotel, Hotel Tria
ngle, Crested crane hotel, Windsor lake Victoria hotel, Mbale resort hotel, Mt.Elgon hotel, to mention but a few.
Other accommodation facilities include hostels, lodges, campsites, guesthouses and apartments, which are located in the city center, suburbs and in all regions of the country. Lodges include Mweya safari lodge, Speke resort Munyonyo, Red chili rest camp and hideaway, Gorilla forest camp, Volcanoes, Arra fishing lodge, Jacana safari lodge etc. Apartments include Acacia apartments, Windsor apartments, Kabira club, Dolphin suites, Mosa courts, golden leaves, Royal suites, Salama springs, Speke resort, etc. Campsites and hostels include Adrift/Nile high camp, Red chili hideaway, Backpackers, Bigodi wetland sanctuary, Bunyonyi overland camp, Ishasha wilderness camp, Sambiya river lodge Bandas, Hornbill, The crows nest, Lake Nabugabo campsite, etc. Guesthouses include Rwenzori guesthouse, Mamba point, palm tree guesthouse, 2 friends guesthouse, Palm tree guesthouse, etc and Islands like nature’s prime island, Ssese Island, Bulago island.
HOTEL DEVELOPMENTS IN UGANDA.
The latest hotel developments in Uganda are a sure indication of tourism growth in Uganda and EastAfrica as a whole.
The development of tourism has been enhanced by effective promotion, of both the destination and products offered by specific businesses. Establishment of awareness programes, qualified, trained and skilled human resources, improved and stronger tourism administration, investment in the tourism plant and associated products (attractions, entertainment, shopping, etc), enhancing marketing methods and development of basic facilities, social services and proper infrastructure.
The hotels and other accommodation facilities have developed to offer distinguished ambience, panoramic views, and tranquil surroundings. They are uniquely refurbished to offer comfortable accommodations for a relaxing business or holiday trip. Hotels are perfectly situated for visitors with a welcoming atmosphere, friendly and hospitable services, with excellent facilities as well as comfortable guestrooms and public areas.
Business centers with boardrooms and equipment, Bars and restaurants serving intercontinental cuisine with wines and cocktails, Services like massage, sauna, Internet facilities, private lounges, gyms, swimming pools, shopping malls, Recreation courtyards, open spaces, pergolas, terraces and entertainment centers are offered by Uganda’s hotels and accommodation facilities.
The hosting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting scheduled for 2007 in Uganda has also enhanced hotel development and refurbishment, and Hotel Owners have put their facilities together necessary to host the summit in 2007.
Hotels are on the increase in the country like Emin pasha, which opened at the end of March 2004. Kampala Sheraton Hotel, Bwebajja on Entebbe Road, Garden City, Golf Course and Kampala Serena hotels are undergoing construction and refurbishment. Buhoma Homestead, mantana-tented camps and the Volcanoes lodges are undergoing upgrading and expanding, and the most luxurious hotels used by business travellers and upmarket tourists have prices set in dollars.
There are plenty of budget hotels and accommodation facilities in Uganda, and the accommodation sector is growing consistently, with remarkable staff offering hospitable décor in hotels and all accommodation facilities.