The Uganda Tourism Board has kicked off inspection of hotels around the country to ensure compliance with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) put in place by the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities in the wake of COVID-19.
The SOPs aim to provide health and safety protocols for all hotel and other accommodation facilities.
They are also aimed at creating confidence amongst domestic and international visitors as Uganda readies herself for tourism revitalization in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The board says Inspection will begin with Kampala City and Entebbe town this week.
The Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities Hon Godfrey Kiwanda said the inspection was a critical part of the recovery process for Uganda’s tourism sector.
“Today, we kick off the inspection of the implementation of the SOPs. This exercise does not only demonstrate the steps being taken by Uganda’s tourism sector in their readiness, recovery and commitment by both government and the private sector to ensure the safety of both our citizens and tourists,” he said.
According to a recent report released by the United Nations World Travel Organization, health and safety will be a key determinant for travel by tourists across the world as the global industry recovers.
Hon Kiwanda while addressing Journalists, added that on top of maintaining the recommended health and safety measures of social distancing, sanitization and wearing a mask, every hotel will be required to have an isolation room for emergencies and a COVID-19 resource center accessible to all.
The UTB Deputy CEO Bradford Ochieng, said implementation of the SOPs is a key strategy in the revitalization of the sector and ensuring safety and confidence of the visitors which is a key decision-making factor in travel, going forward.
“Ours is a promise that quality assurance in Uganda’s tourism facilities will be upheld across travel, accommodation, amenities and experience,” he said.
He also revealed that UTB was in the process of developing a tourism sector recovery plan that is hoped to rebirth the sector.
The Chairlady of the Uganda Hotel Owners Association, Ms. Susan Muhwezi, called on the association members and the hospitality sector to uphold the SOPs put in place by the Ministry of Tourism Wildlife and Antiquities.
“We understand that hotels have had to increase their operational costs to fit into what is now the new normal that led to the creation of the tourism Sector SOPs. We are hopeful that the government will support private sector investment in this process through the stimulus package. This will go a long way in support the recovery of our hospitality sector”.