Tourism entrepreneurs and leaders have expressed concern over the declining number of local tourists who visit Mt Elgon and Karamoja Sub-region.

The entrepreneurs say although the regions are home to some of the best waterfalls, beautiful birds, animals, caves and other features, the number of local tourists is low compared to foreigners.

Among the waterfalls in different areas are Sipi falls, Bilitanyi gorges falls, Sisiyi falls, Chebonet falls, and Kagera falls.

Mr Saleh Namenya, the chief executive officer of Casa Uganda Safaris and lodges, said Mt Elgon and Karamoja receives about 100 local tourists every weekend, which according to him is very low .

“Domestic travel is the key driver for the industry but unfortunately the number is still low. We rely on foreigners,” Mr Namenya said.

According to Mr Namenya, the local community travel only on weekends unlike the foreign tourists who travel every day. He said as a way of marketing domestic tourism, local tourists should be given discounted rates on most of the packages.

“Our tour operators have embarked on a robust marketing campaign through use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to promote local tourism,” he said.

Ms Miriam Nadunga, a resident of Bufumbo Sub-county in Mbale City, said despite the fact that she stays five kilometres away from Wanale ridge, she has never visited the waterfalls.

“I always see international travellers going to the ridges but I have never been there,” she said.