Tourism in Uganda

Uganda recorded a total of 473,000 tourists in 2020, ranking 133rd in the world in absolute terms.

Without including the size of a country, such a ranking list may not be very meaningful. By putting the tourist numbers in relation to the population of Uganda, the result is much more comparable picture: With 0.010 tourists per resident, Uganda ranked 185th in the world. In Eastern Africa, it ranked 13th.

In 2020, Uganda generated around 518.00 million US dollars in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 1.3 percent of its the gross domestic product and approximately 12 percent of all international tourism receipts in Eastern Africa.

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Back to overview: Uganda

On average, each of the tourists arriving in 2020 spent about 1,040 US dollars.

Development of the tourism sector in Uganda from 1995 to 2020

The following chart shows the number of tourist arrivals registered in Uganda each year. Anyone who spends at least one night in the country but does not live there for more than 12 months is considered a tourist. Insofar as the survey included the purpose of the trip, business trips and other non-tourism travel purposes have already been excluded. The number of people passing through within the same day, and e.g., crew members of ships or flights are also not considered tourists in most countries. If the same person travels in and out more than once within the same year, each visit counts again.

The red line represents the average of all 16 countries in Eastern Africa.

Tourists per year in Uganda

Revenues from tourism

In 1995, tourism revenues amounted to 78.00 million USD, or about 1.4 percent of the gross national product. This corresponded to about 160,000 tourists at that time and roughly 488 USD per person. Within 25 years, the country's dependence on tourism has increased drastically. Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, sales were $1.40 billion billion, 4.0 percent of gross national product. Thus, each visitor spent an average of $907 on their vacation in Uganda.

In 2020, tourist receipts plummeted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the $1.40 billion billion (2019), only $518.00 million billion remained. This is a 63 percent decrease in Uganda.

Tourism receipts in Uganda per year

All data for Uganda in detail

YearNumber of touristsReceipts% of GNPReceipts per tourist
2020473,000518.00 m $1.4 %1,095 $
20191.54 m1.40 bn $4.0 %907 $
20181.51 m1.52 bn $4.6 %1,011 $
20171.40 m954.00 m $3.1 %680 $
20161.32 m1.12 bn $3.8 %845 $
20151.30 m1.05 bn $3.2 %805 $
20141.27 m984.00 m $3.0 %777 $
20131.21 m960.00 m $3.3 %796 $
20121.20 m1.16 bn $4.2 %967 $
20111.15 m977.00 m $3.5 %849 $
2010946,000802.00 m $3.0 %848 $
2009807,000683.00 m $2.7 %846 $
2008844,000536.00 m $3.7 %635 $
2007642,000402.00 m $3.4 %626 $
2006539,000347.00 m $3.5 %644 $
2005468,000382.00 m $4.1 %816 $
2004512,000268.00 m $3.4 %523 $
2003305,000185.00 m $2.8 %607 $
2002254,000194.00 m $3.1 %764 $
2001205,000187.00 m $3.2 %912 $
2000193,000165.00 m $2.7 %855 $
1999189,000151.00 m $2.5 %799 $
1998195,000144.00 m $2.2 %738 $
1997175,000135.00 m $2.2 %771 $
1996174,000117.00 m $1.9 %672 $
1995160,00078.00 m $1.4 %488 $

Our data on tourist numbers, revenues and expenditures are based on information from the World Tourism Organization. However, to ensure international comparability, the data for some years or countries were manually researched and corrected if they obviously included visitors without overnight stays. In these cases, the data were taken from the official communications of the respective national tourism authorities.

The World Tourism Organization additionally points out that in some countries, the number of tourists is only counted at airports, while in others they are also counted at border crossings or even hotels. A comprehensive and reliable indication is therefore hardly possible in any country.

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