With the recent trends in technology, the respective boards managing the issuance of gorilla permits in the different countries where gorilla tracking takes place have devised means of letting clients book these permits on line though in some countries like Uganda they have received some resistance from some stake holders especially the native tour operating companies. And below is the substantive eulogy concerning this module;
In Uganda,the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is proposing to put all gorilla permits for Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park on line to be accessed by all people within and outside Uganda. According to management of Uganda Wildlife Authority, putting gorilla permits online will increase sales thus more money into the government’s treasury and to the Uganda Wildlife Authority to be used in conservation of wildlife in all protected areas. UWA management also argue that Tour Operators have been complaining about failure to get availability when they call Uganda Wildlife Authority central reservations office in Kampala and that if permits go on line then one can see them instantly.
Putting gorilla permits on line is yet to be seen as it has received a lot of resistance from the Private sector most especially from Ugandan Tour Operators under their umbrella organization called the Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO) who argue that by putting gorilla permits online will not only put them out of business since International Tour Operators will be able to buy them directly from Uganda Wildlife Authority offices but will also kill the tourism industry as a whole since clients will only be coming to Uganda for gorillas and then go for wildlife viewing in other neighbouring countries of Kenya and Tanzania that have a competitive advantage over Uganda. Uganda Tour Operators argue that the role of selling gorilla permits should be left to them since their businesses create employment to several people and that if they are deprived of this, they will run out of business. They further say that the role of Uganda Wildlife Authority is not to market Tourism products such us gorilla permits but is to conserve Wildlife in and out side Protected Areas. The role of Marketing Uganda as a tourism Destination is supposed to be done by Uganda Tourism Board and therefore conflict of interest has been sighted.
Following the above issues, several meetings were convened to discourage Uganda Wildlife Authority from putting gorilla permits online and this ended up attracting the attention of the Minister of Tourism and Wildlife who has instituted a committee comprising of representatives from AUTO, Local Communities , Uganda tourism board and Uganda Wildlife Authority and is to be chaired by The Ministry of Tourism. Out comes of this committee will be communicated later.
There fore as of now this system to put Ugandan gorilla permits online has temporarily stalled till further notice.
Just as in Uganda,even in Rwanda this mechanism has also totally failed due to various issues that have created divergent views towards the application of this module. The private sector also smelt a rat in being driven out of business. However Rwanda still receives a lot of tourists taking gorilla safaris into Volcanoes National Park.
Unlike in Uganda and Rwanda where efforts have been made though still at infant stage,in Congo this mode of online gorilla booking has never been thought of and there are no signs of conceiving such an idea.