Uganda Wildlife Authority-UWA has waived annual fixed fees for concessionaires operating tourism related businesses in various protected areas under her jurisdiction.
The measure is intended to offer relief to concessionaires following the heavy impact of COVID-19 on tourism businesses which threatened a number of investors with closure due to lack of business.
According to UWA Executive Director Sam Mwandha, the authority is mindful of the challenges concessionaires have faced amidst COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are pleased to announce a 100% relief on Annual fixed fees accruing from March 2020 up to June 2021 as a relief package for their business that have been impacted by the COVID19 pandemic” says Mwandha, adding that for those concessionaires who had already made payments for this period, the waiver will be applied in the next financial year.
This waiver only applies to tourism concessions that were in operation at the time of the COVID-19 outbreak in March 2020. Concessions that were not operational at the time of the outbreak of COVID-19 and those that are not related to tourism are not eligible to receive the relief.
In the same spirit, tenants at the Wildlife Tower in Kampala have also been given a 50% waiver on rent for four months, from April to July.
Concessionaire pay an annual fixed fee to the authority towards supporting conservation activities in protected areas where they have tourism related investments.
Concessions are one of the ways through which UWA gets to get funds to support wildlife conservation activities. Concession sites are earmarked during the development of General Management Plans and advertised as investment opportunities.