As Uganda prepares to celebrate the World Tourism Day (WTD), the Minister of State for Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities Godfrey Kiwanda Ssuubi has urged all political contestants and voters to maintain peace, law and order and not to let differences in opinions bitterly divide society.
“As tourism, we are cognisant of the tensions this period creates and the image challenges that come along when we don’t properly exercise our democratic rights. Tourism thrives on peace so let’s not destroy that tranquility as we compete to lead,” Kiwanda said.
Kiwanda made these remarks while launching the World Tourism Day arrangements and activities gearing for the celebrations slated to take place on September 27, 2020, in Fort Portal under the theme “Tourism and Rural Community development.”
“This theme is important in focusing our attention to the plight of our rural communities and the contribution tourism can make in transforming these livelihoods,” Kiwanda said, adding that the Ministry has come up with Standard Operating Procedures that tourists will follow once Entebbe International Airport is opened.
“I want to call upon those who had paid to come here not to cancel their bookings; we have come up with SOPs particularly for our tourists,” he said.
Kiwanda noted that this year, the Ministry chose to shine a spotlight on Fort portal and Kabarole, a region which exemplifies some of the best landscapes and a wonderful people that explain the brand Uganda, The pearl of Africa.
“This region also has some of the best examples explaining how communities have been transformed using Tourism. We will be spotlighting those good stories and using them to teach the entire country the best development models. Fort portal has recently been declared a tourism City and we want to join the celebration but also engage leadership at an early stage to guide that development to greater heights,” Kiwanda said.
He also said that amidst the celebrations, the Ministry will recognise and celebrate the silver jubilee anniversary of the Reign of King Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi the fourth.
“The king has led his people with steadfast vision and mobilised them into a developmental force that evokes pride in the region. You all recall, that king Oyo was at one time the youngest King in the world and this brought great attraction to the country,” Kiwanda noted.
“His peaceful and developmental reign is also testament to government support and commitment to the kingdoms. I wish to extend our joyful congratulations and wish the king and people of Tooro many happy years,” he added.
The minister stated that the beauty of Uganda is best exemplified by the country side, fresh, undisturbed eco systems where the people live in harmony with nature.
“Tourism can play an important role in securing the necessary resources and investment to bridge these developmental gaps. Tourism provides the economic justification to protect the resources from degradation and encroachment,” he added.
Kiwanda also said that the Ministry as well as the Government of Uganda is ready to promote tourism amidst the Covid-19 pandemic uncertainties.
“Government will continue to provide the right environment but let’s remember it begins with us, you and me,” Kiwanda concluded.