Home Business Tour Operators Concerned About Losses Amidst Shs 11 Billion Gorilla Permit Scandal

Tour Operators Concerned About Losses Amidst Shs 11 Billion Gorilla Permit Scandal

115
0
tour operators concerned about losses amidst shs 11 billion gorilla permit scandal
tour operators concerned about losses amidst shs 11 billion gorilla permit scandal
Share this News

Tour operators expressed concerns about potential financial losses due to the Shs 11.2 billion gorilla tracking permit scandal involving Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) staff. The scandal, which has resulted in the suspension of 16 UWA employees, has also raised suspicions about the involvement of some tour operators in the illicit activities. However, tour operators vehemently deny any wrongdoing, asserting that they are merely customers of UWA’s services and do not have access to the authority’s systems.

Herbert Byaruhanga, the president of the Uganda Tourism Association (UTA) and the general secretary of the Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO), voiced his apprehension regarding the scandal’s impact on the country’s global tourism industry. He believes that individuals implicated in the scandal may experience temporary setbacks in their businesses. Byaruhanga squarely places the blame on UWA and calls for a thorough investigation into the sale of gorilla and chimpanzee permits, as well as entrance tickets. He points out that previous reports of fraudulent activities were submitted to the Ministry of Tourism and UWA, but no action was taken.

Byaruhanga stressed the importance of restoring Uganda’s image, especially since negative media coverage is causing concerns among potential visitors. This could potentially affect the industry for the next two years, as tourists typically plan their activities well in advance.

Civy Tumusiime, the chairperson of AUTO, expressed the association’s commitment to a clean industry. She highlighted the challenges tour operators face, including recovering from the effects of COVID-19 lockdowns, ADF rebel attacks, the Anti-Homosexuality Act, and the emergence of fake permits.

Wilberforce Begumisa from Africa Adventure Safaris, one of the companies allegedly involved in the scandal, called for swift action from UWA and questioned why allegations were made before thorough investigations were completed. He emphasized the challenging times his company faces.

Highlights:

Key Points Details
Shs 11.2 billion gorilla permit scandal Involves UWA staff and potential tour operator involvement
Impact on tour operators Concerns about financial losses and reputation damage
Tour operators’ denial of wrongdoing Emphasize they are customers and lack access to UWA systems
Herbert Byaruhanga’s concerns Scandal’s impact on global tourism, calls for investigations
Civy Tumusiime’s stance Desire for a clean industry amid various challenges
Wilberforce Begumisa’s plea Calls for action from UWA and questions timing of allegations