In its commitment to promote East Africa as a single Tourism destination, Uganda has partnered with Rwanda to jointly promote two way tourism traffic between the two sister-countries.
Speaking during the 52nd Post Ugandan Independence celebrations at Serena Hotel-Kigali, Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwanadan Minister for Foreign Affairs said the move which was championed by the Uganda Tourism Board in partnership with the Rwandan Development Board is purposed to defend both the security and business developments of the two countries.
“People to people relations between Uganda and Rwanda is a very important step to strengthening the tourism sectors of the two economies-both of which come as their country’s biggest revenue earners, contributing over $1b to either countries.”
Mushikiwabo said while addressing over 5,000 celebrants including Ugandan fraternity in Rwanda, High Commissioners and friends of Uganda in Rwanda.
According to Stephen Asiimwe, UTB Chief Executive Officer, under the merger, the two countries will have healthy tourism exchanges whenever marketing opportunities such as tourism marts and expos arise in the two countries and the Great Lakes Region in general.
President of the Uganda Tourism Association, Herbert Byaruhanga conducting a training session of the tour guides in the recent weeks.
As a result, social-economic problems such unemployment will be effectively addressed because Tourism is the world’s biggest employer, employing at least one of every ten people in its various sub-sectors such as Roads and Transport, Hotel and accommodation among others.
To aid in this realization, Uganda’s High Commissioner to Rwanda, Richard Kabonero said Rwanda will with immediate effect start by stamping out hindrances that have over the years suffocated a healthy business exchange between the two countries such as the border to border bureaucracies.
According to Edwin Muzahura, Head of Marketing UTB, the board’s choice for Rwanda was highly influenced by the fact that no other country in the region feeds Uganda with as much tourists as Rwanda.
“Though most of these come for casual visits, a relatively good number also come for both leisure and business tourism in Uganda and spend during their stay,” Muzahura said.
Uganda was honoured by East Africa as the country with the best tourist guides in the region
According to Asiimwe, this realization which is expected to translate into a huge influx of tourists to Uganda has been made possible thanks to an over 10 years consistent training of tour guides. It was conducted by President of the Uganda Tourism Association, Herbert Byaruhanga through the Uganda Safari Guides Associations (USAGA).
Since 2000, USAGA has trained over 1000 tour guides through short courses of between 1-3 weeks, in various parts of the country.
Among the many skills imparted during the training include discipline, wildlife knowledge and communication skills