UTB launches drive to promote local tourism sites

The Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) has started an initiative to identify and develop local area tourism sites across the country through engaging youths.

The deputy Executive Director at  UTB John Ssempebwa told journalists at the Uganda Media Centre that UTB wants youths across the country to identify unique and historical site in their areas and then tell their story to the tourism marketing agency.

Ssempebwa says that UTB will help the youths who would have told stories of abandoned or unknown historical sites acquire relevant training in how to develop those site into tourism sites and how to manage the sites.

“Together we can develop these areas, we can train you and, we can link you to the tourism value chain. In whatever direction you take, there are areas that are untapped in,” said Ssempebwa

He added that UTB also plans to help the youths to establish an understanding with the owners of the areas where the historical sites would have been identified.

According to Ssempebwa, Uganda’s tourism has increased by about 9% in 2018, a figure that he says is higher than any registered figure in Uganda’s history since independence.

“The interest in tourism must not end with airline, it must not end with big tour operators, it must not end with big hotels; that income must trickle down to your grandfather, the people in the villages, to the youths to the women,” said Ssempebwa

It is upon this background that UTB introduced this initiative to awaken the youths to the realization that there are a number of opportunities in the tourism sector that would benefit them.

He said that youths will engage in the tourism sector as a source of employment by for instance starting up tour companies.

Currently tour companies are not being licensed and hence, Ssempebwa said, it should be easy for youths to grab the opportunity.

Ssempebwa also introduced youths of Fenando tours who are organizing a Christmas party in Queen Elizabeth Park, a party that they have named “Christmas in the Wilderness”. He says youths should come up with such creative activities to promote and also benefit from Uganda’s tourism sector.