This year, the World Tourism Day celebrations will be held on the 27th of September 2013 at Booma Grounds in Fort Portal town.
The international theme for this year’s World Tourism Day celebrations is
“Tourism and Water, Protecting Our Common Future” and will be focusing on Mount Rwenzori as the biggest source of fresh water and livelihood for this country.
Uganda Tourism Board has lined up several activities to commemorate the WTD week including the following
1. An 5 days exhibitions showcasing the various attractions of Uganda, the ways of life of the people of Uganda, culture, history and tourism facilities and services
2. Bird Watching in Kibale National Park
3. Chimp tracking in Kibale National
4. Nature walks and community tours
5. And the Mount Rwenzori Climbing Challenge dubbed Royal as it will be led by His Majesty King Oyo
As you are all aware, we use the World Tourism day Celebrations to promote Domestic Tourism and to encourage Ugandans to visit the numerous attractions within their vicinity and beyond. I therefore wish to invite all Ugandans to come down to Fort Portal and to actively participate in these various activities.
UTB is organizing a fundraising Dinner for World Tourism Day celebrations to interest the corporate institutions in taking part in the planned activities. This dinner is slated for Thursday 29th of August 2013 at the Sheraton Hotel Rwenzori ballroom
The objectives of the dinner are:
a) Launch of a behavior change campaign targeted at all Ugandans to embrace local tourism (recently, the UNWTO Secretary General remarked that “a country that is not visited by its own people should not be visited at all”)
b) Working towards improving the image of our country through promoting its unique tourism endowments.
c) Lobbying the government and members of the private sector to embrace tourism marketing campaigns both locally and internationally that are aimed at promoting the tourism potential in our country.
The activities we have lined up are good opportunities for various private and public companies and organizations to not only contribute to the promotion of tourism in this country but also in the process enhance great visibility and good relations with the government.
The Ministry and UTB have teamed up with youthful event managers, led by Wasp Limited in addition to the Tooro youth who were requested by His Majesty the King Oyo to spearhead preparations for this event. Tourism has the potential to address the rampant unemployment growth in Uganda if the youth embraced it and so this is an opportunity for all of Uganda’s youth.
I therefore urge our young people and my fellow countrymen and women to come together to bring our heritage to life and tourism potential to the forefront.
Henry Ford once said: “Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” Let us therefore work together to succeed in reviving our domestic tourism potential for our own benefit and for the benefit of future generations.
I thank you all and implore the media to also wholeheartedly support us in our campaign to promote behavior change in regard to embracing domestic tourism.
For God and My Country
Hon. Dr. Maria Mutagamba
Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities