The recognition of the role of tourism in sustainable development and the emphasis placed in the SDGs on the development of public policies for sustainable tourism is a landmark breakthrough that provides a unique opportunity for all governments to create a sound and favourable policy foundation.
The first two years of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda have shown that countries are making headway in aligning national strategies, adapting institutional frameworks and adjusting policies to realize the SDGs.
The countries’ efforts have been reported in the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs), presented by UN Member States during the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in 2016 and 2017
In Uganda’s Voluntary National Review 2016, tourism was explicitly mentioned as an opportunity to achieve the Uganda Vision 2040, that can only be harnessed through strengthening of infrastructure, human capital, and a stable macroeconomic environment. Tourism is seen as a multiplier effect that would increase the country’s competitiveness and opportunities for economic development.
Tourism was also mentioned when aligning the second National Development Plan (NDPII) to SDG 9 on infrastructure, through improving the regions road, electricity, water infrastructure as well as production skills to promote tourism, agriculture, fishing, agro-processing, light manufacturing and mining. Furthermore, the country has made efforts to combat poaching and eliminating the problem of wildlife dispersal that led to exploitation of tourist attractions and amenities.
Uganda is also very active in partnership within the East African community (EAC) region where tourism is mentioned as one of the clusters of the Northern Corridor Integration Projects.