Junior Minister of Tourism in Uganda, Godfrey Kiwanda, said the government was planning to hire more public relations firms to market Uganda abroad this year.

The new firms, which have not yet been announced, will join three others that were hired in 2016 to market the country's tourism potential in the USA, UK, Germany and Ireland.

The new firms will also showcase Uganda as a preferred destination, promote investment opportunities in the country's tourism sector, increase inbound numbers, generate more tax revenue, and provide employment opportunities to the locals.

Kiwanda said the public relations firms contributed to the increasing number of tourists visiting the country every year. "It is part of our bigger marketing strategy this year, and we have the potential. What we need is to make people know, the world over, about it."

According to the latest data from the Ugandan Civil Aviation Authority, arrivals at Entebbe International Airport increased by 199 704 visitors to 1.8 million in 2018 compared with the previous year, with 60% of the total arrivals at the airport being tourists.

Kiwanda revealed that the number of tourists who visited the national parks in 2018 increased by 14% to 325 345 visitors, up from 285 671 recorded in the previous year.

The tourism sector also recorded an increase in the number of tourists visiting the Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary, from 3 421 in 2016 to 4 526 in 2018.