Impact of COVID-19 on Community Tourism on Mt Moroto – The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has reached even the most remote areas of Uganda. The host communities used to benefit from additional income through community tourism and freedom of movement for local business.
The impact of COVID-19 and Community Tourism on Mt Moroto
Kara-Tunga visited its community partners in Karamoja after two months after the government imposed lockdown. Local leaders, male and female members were asked how Community Tourism impacted their lives and how COVID-19 pandemic has affected them.
Kara-Tunga gives 75% of the fee directly to the host communities, guides and local businesses. The host communities place the proceeds in a village saving and loans association (saving box). The members can borrow money with interest to invest in their businesses, buy food, medicine and pay school fees. By the end of the year, all members share the proceeds and interest before starting over again.
COVID-19 has negatively affected the community, but it has also thought them a lesson about the vulnerability of tourism by external factors. All members commonly share that without tourists, but the ability to trade at the local market, they are able to support themselves and their families.
The host communities and the tour guides have come to an agreement to record video tours and make them available for a contribution (like Netflix) and to offer the ability of virtual tours as well. Virtual tours are the closest you can get to a real live tour: people can book and schedule a private virtual tour whereafter the guide will give an actual live tour on a given live video channel. The client(s) can ask live questions to the guide during the tour as well.
About Kara-Tunga, Karamoja Tours
Kara-Tunga Tours was founded with a clear vision: Tourism as a tool for socio-economical development in the Karamoja subregion of Uganda.
Kara-Tunga is located at the slopes of Mount Moroto, at the heart of the administrative district of Karamoja. The social enterprise has developed three key-tools to develop a sustainable future of regional tourism and to ensure It’s lead by the local community.