Effects of COVID-19 pandemic on tourism labour market in Uganda: a case study of selected tour firms in Kampala
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The major purpose of the study was to examine the effects of COVID-19 on the tourism labour market in Uganda. The specific objectives of the study were: to examine the current level and categories of workforce in tour companies following COVID-19 pandemic, to examine the criteria used to layoff and retain workers in tour companies and to assess the strategies being used by tour companies to address the effects of COVID-19 on the labour force. The study was designed so that data collection was done in two stages In stage one, reports were reviewed to on the research topic, pre visit were made to get familiar with the study area (selected tour firms) and introduce the researcher to local authority. In stage two, structured questionnaires were used and random sampling was applied to select respondents as follows, 5 tour company consultants and 10 tour company workers were selected from both questionnaire interview and interviewing method to participate in the entire decision making. Acquisition of more in-depth information through interaction with the respondents was also done. Extensive observation and note-taking during interviews and respondents meetings was done. This study used both the quantitative and qualitative data. The study concluded that COVID-19 has been a disaster for the tourism industry in Uganda. The closure of its international borders was a necessary and important measure to control the disease, but it had the immediate effect of closing down most of the industry. Consequently, it is safe to say that it is the hardest hit sector in the Ugandan economy The study recommended that Uganda is motivated to see more tourists coming to Uganda. In recent news, the Uganda‟s tourism industry has increased a 30% growth in this year alone and for the first time in history despite of the COVID-19 outbreak, the country is expecting charter planes to bring in tourists from developed countries for example China, United States of America ,Sweden and Finland among others .This is already a good indicator that there is a bit of penetration in the developing countries like Uganda. For this case Uganda need to continue fighting COVID-19 which may reduce on the number of tourists coming to Uganda in fear to get infected with the disease(COVID-19).