UTB to start refresher training for tourism operators

Thursday October 10 2019

A tourist takes a photo of a gorilla. Tourism

A tourist takes a photo of a gorilla. Tourism is one of Uganda’s biggest foreign exchange earners recording about 1.5m tourist arrivals in 2018. File Photo 

By Stephen Otage

Kampala. Uganda Tourism Board is in discussions with Isbat International University to retrain employees in the tourism and hospitality value chain to improve the quality of tourism services in the country.

Speaking at the pre-independence day celebrations on Tuesday, Mr Samora Semakula the UTB quality assurance officer, said employees in the tourism value chain such as immigrations, hotels, tour and travel, tourism destinations, tourism police and tourism marketing agencies, among others, need to achieve up-to-date skills that are needed in a modern tourism sub-sector.

“We have started regular inspection of accommodation facilities, enforcement and monitoring of standards and classification of hotels. We have also started to provide skills across the entire value chain,” he said, adding this seeks to ease marketing of Uganda as a tourism destination.

Mr Varghese Mundamattam, the Isbat University chairman, said because tourism is a highly technical oriented venture, it requires all players to have skills required for the industry to flourish.

“We need people who can create a lot of news about the industry. All stakeholders need to be connected. Tour operators and travel agencies, need skills that promote tourism and UTB has already designed a course which was accredited,” he said, adding they were forced to venture into the training because of the emerging opportunities in tourism which will create new jobs and bring in more foreign exchange.

Tourism is one of Uganda’s biggest foreign exchange earners recording about 1.5m tourist arrivals in 2018.

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Tangible benefits
According to Mr Mathew Mathai Kattampackal, the Isbat International University vice chancellor, it is important that Uganda acquires the right skills for its tourism sector as well as spread the tourism gospel far and beyond the country to have tangible benefits.

sotage@ug.nationmedia.com

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