GOVERNMENT’S DESIRE TO REVOKE TAXES ON UGANDA HOTELS
Uganda hotel owners and operators woke up in the amazing news by the government to reduce taxes on all Uganda hotels and accommodation facilities to enhance tourism and increase return on investment.
The new developments to scrap off / reduce taxes on Uganda hotels and accommodation properties follow the cries of hotel operators to the government which seems to have answered their prayers at last. This was announced by prof. Ephraim Kamuntu while presiding over a function to launch the new four tourism products that were discovered by the Uganda Tourism Association (UTA) last week. The new products which were unveiled include, Namugongo Shrine son et lumier, Uganda National Museum Indigenous dinner, Uganda Rwenzori Cultural Trail and Interpretation capacity building for birding and the Uganda iconic tourism product development.
The professor argued all hotel operators to remain calm and patient to allow government finalize this very crucial arrangement, which is intended to either scrap off / reduce taxes on hotels, in order to attract many players into the industry to encourage competition and quality assurance, and allow return on investment to the existing hotels and improve on their service delivery and focus on standardization, hence attracting many tourists to the country.
“Many hotels in the Uganda have failed to improve their services to international standards because of the tax burden on them. As government, we have finished reviewing the demands for hotel owners and we are ready to revoke taxes so that they could expand their businesses to attract more tourists,” the minister added.
He said that this will be later reflected in the 2017/2018 budget because government is looking at increasing the number of tourist arrivals to Uganda annually from the current 1.3m to 4m by 2020.
The Uganda tourism industry is currently one of the rapidly growing industries in the region, contributing about 9% to the country’s Gross Domestic Product annually, and this has been attributed to abundant wildlife, mountains, mountain gorillas, birds that attract tourists for safaris in Uganda, Uganda tours, gorilla tours, hiking safaris, birding and cultural safaris.
And it is projected that reducing or scrapping hotel taxes will aid in standardization and quality assurance hence more tourist flows and this would in turn enable government collect much money as a result of increased hotel occupancy.