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DETERMINING TOURIST ARRIVALS IN UGANDA: THE IMPACT OF DISTANCE,
TRADE AND ORIGIN-SPECIFIC FACTORS

Andrew Muhammad

Mississippi State University, USA

 

Donald Andrews

Southern University, USA

 

ABSTRACT

This study investigated the impact of origin-specific factors on Uganda’s tourist arrivals. Of the countries with visitors to Uganda, tourist numbers were as low as 28 from the Czech Republic in 2000, and as high as 220,000 from Kenya in 2004. Using panel data (2000-2004) and the gravity trade model, we estimated Uganda’s inbound tourist flows. According to results, Real GDP in the visitor’s country, distance, trade with Uganda, and exchange rates explained 73 percent of the variation in tourist arrivals. The greatest impact on tourist arrivals was distance (negative impact). Neighboring countries had significantly more visitors to Uganda, ceteris peribus. The number of visitors was significantly greater for countries with higher GDP. A country’s exports to Uganda (Uganda’s imports) had a positive effect on tourist arrivals. The effect of Uganda’s exports was smaller but still significantly positive. A relatively strong Ugandan shilling had a negative effect on tourist arrivals.

Keywords: Uganda, tourism, arrivals, distance, trade, gravity trade model

JEL Classification: L83, O55, O12