Religious tourism is a steadily growing tourism product niche in Uganda after wildlife-based tourism. However, limited research has curtailed planning and development of religious tourism in the country. As a contribution to knowledge on his subject, this paper analyses the tourism policy, planning and institutional frameworks as a precursor to harnessing the potential of religious tourism in the country. Applying a mixed methods approach, the evolution of religious tourism in Uganda was reviewed. To examine actor perceptions and benefits of religious tourism, two case studies were undertaken with the help of a structured questionnaire and key informant interviews. A SWOT analysis was conducted to analyse the policy, planning and institutional frameworks of religious tourism. Findings reveal that in spite of limited institutional input, religious travel has organically evolved since the 1880s. Worshipers, visitors and neighbouring community at the religious sites concur that religious tourism can be developed as it generates socio-religious and economic benefits. The SWOT analysis indicates that Uganda has a high religious tourism potential with a number of sites located in different parts of the country. However, their potential is not yet fully realised due to a number of gaps in policy, planning and institutional frameworks. The paper recommends the establishment of a comprehensive policy, planning and institutional framework to guide actor coordination, infrastructure and facilities development, product diversification, sustainable financing and research.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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