Spiritual Tourism in Uganda

Автор: admin  |  Категория: Statistics

Spiritual Tourism in Uganda

It’s a pity Uganda has a not yet figured out a way to make this religious given situation as a tourist potential capable of eclipsing all other amazing, the level of reverence Uganda martyrs command globally. In the US alone there over 100 institutions named after the Uganda martyrs. Thirteen year old Kizito and Charles Lwanga seem to have a special appeal in the western world; many schools, churches and youth Associations are named after them.

Spiritual tourism is rated amongst the fastest growing businesses in the world. Just take a look at Saudi Arabia; Holy land to the Muslim faith, whereby the total number of pilgrims visiting the country every year is estimated to be 82,000 in the 1990 s to over 2million in 2007.

To facilitate the pilgrims on their Hajj, traders from all over the world, go to the holy land to do business; generating billion of dollars from Mecca and medina. However in 1980s the Saudi Authority imposed quotas to limit the number of pilgrims to around two million. This created a black market for places in the waiting lists established by Muslim government.

The wait in Iran, for example, could take 12 years. Some people would register as candidates for the pilgrimages and they sell there torn to others, for up to $ 10,000. Several countries like Israel and the Italy have also for years reaped big from the increasingly growing lucrative spiritual tourism sector.

Uganda has always been a popular tourist destination for all sorts of tourism, cultural, wildlife especially for gorilla trekking. This could explain why spiritual sub-sectors have not been in the spotlight, in spite of its huge potential.

The market for spiritual tourism is considerably small in the western world yet at the same time some of the potential attractions like the Uganda Martyrs are gaining ground. For Example many Black Americans in their campaign to get back their roots are adopting Uganda Martyrs as their patron saints. For years a number of them have been making annual pilgrimage to Namugingo to torch base with spiritual and racial roots.

Spiritual tourists are not easily turned away by things like poor weather. They are more tolerant, accommodative, dependable and generous. Take the example of Israel in the Middle East. Although the country has been in covered with insecurity since its inception the number of pilgrims that die in the hajji in Mecca every year has not stopped Muslims from going for the same activity.

Therefore traffic jams; the bad roads, bad food, poor accommodation facilities, the stuffy air and noise around the Namugongo shrine on every 3rd of June only make the pilgrims feel the worthiness of pilgrimage, Some pilgrims spend weeks walking; others sleep under trees all this in the name of attending Uganda martyrs day. The declaration Uganda martyrs both catholic and protestants and even a number of Muslims murdered by Mwanga in 1886 and Mutesa 1 respectively by the church has already gone along way in promoting the attraction. The government of Uganda needs to double its efforts in marketing and promoting the attraction in the outside world thereby increasing on the visitor numbers especially on Martyrs day.

Besides Namugongo, Uganda has other shrine in places like Munyonyo, Mityana, old Kampala, Nakivubo and Kyamula. Plans are in place to construct Mucuni Acholi Land, where Bishop Janan Luwumu was buried. Another place of worship worth being mentioned is the Bahai Temple on kikayi hill in Kampala. These are all potential tourists sites, where all sorts of business can be set up especially to cater for the need of spiritual tourists.

The only way of developing Uganda’s tourist potentials an be through embarking on aggressive world wide marketing strategy by stakeholders especially tour companies operating in Uganda like Africa Adventure safaris, Primate Adventure company being one of the leading Uganda gorilla safari provider and other safaris like Chimpanzee, rafting, wildlife and many more.

Its from this that the government of Uganda and church has tried to market the martyrs by declaring June 3rd a public Holiday thus giving the local population time to participate. Still there is a lot more that these institutions can do, for instance the government marketing the martyrs through the Ministry of tourism and the church in the pulpit and the pilgrims who go abroad for their various pilgrimages.

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