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Popes visis vis-à-vis tourism

By Vision Reporter

Added 24th August 2015 01:43 PM

After the Common Wealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2007, whose head is the queen of England, now Uganda is gearing to host the most powerful human being in the world; the head of the Roman Catholic denomination who is the Pope.

Popes visis vis-à-vis tourism

Nabendeh S.P. Wamoto is a hospitality professional and administrator

After the Common Wealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2007, whose head is the queen of England, now Uganda is gearing to host the most powerful human being in the world; the head of the Roman Catholic denomination who is the Pope.

By Nabendeh S.P. Wamoto

After the Common Wealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2007, whose head is the queen of England, now Uganda is gearing to host the most powerful human being in the world; the head of the Roman Catholic denomination who is the Pope.

I personally did volunteer in the activities of Chogm, but was disappointed that Uganda and particularly those involved in the tourism industry did not explosively capture the occasion to market the country’s image as would have been, if Chogm was to be held in Kenya, Egypt, Rwanda or Tanzania to mention, but a few.

The first time I saw personalised street adverts in Kampala depicting non-tourist entities such as Rio Ferdinand (UK soccer player), Kayibanda (comedian), Maggie Kigozi (then Director-Uganda Investment Authority) and many others, I did ask myself that if God didn’t want uncreative people then he wouldn’t have crafted a beautiful place called Uganda.

Our country does not need phantom scientists to remind her of the simple task that the basis of positioning a country like Uganda before, during and after hosting Pope Francis this time, must remain the great diversity and profusion of wildlife species as well as our good landscape scenery and cultural industry, creative products which convey ideal messages to promote and popularize Uganda as a tourist destination for the world to sample.

The organising committee continues to sideline tourism and hospitality professionals mostly Uganda Tourism Board, Uganda Tourist Association, The Crested Crane Hotel and Tourism Training Institute-Jinja, Cultural Boards (Buganda, Inzu Ya Masaba, Bunyoro, Toro, Busoga, Ankole e.t.c) at its(organizing committee) own peril. The Pope’s visit street advertisements must emphasise issues of national pride such as the women’s national netball team, the she cranes, Uganda martyrs shrine, the Albertine oil fields in Bunyoro, The rehabilitated Kasubi tombs, Nyero rock in Kumi, the equator, source of the Nile, national theatre, Uganda Broadcasting Corporation, Uganda museum cultural village, national assembly, the newly rehabilitated state house, Pan African square, Makerere university, Mulago hospital, Mutoto male circumcision site, constitutional square, Bigobyamugyenyi. e.t.c.

The Pope’s visit National organising committee must learn to emphasise adventure, activity-laden tourism in a country endowed with sun, sand, natural forests such as the impenetrable Bwindi and Mgahinga with their mountain gorillas, Maramagambo, Budongo, Mabira and Lendu which are ideal for adventurous forest walks, gorilla and chimpanzee tracking. The Ruwenzori Mountain ranges in the West, Elgon in the East for mountain climbing and historical cave exploration sites. Lake Victoria, the second largest, salt less lake in the world, River Nile with its beautiful white rafting and launch trips and the Kazinga channel.

The organisers must appreciate that tourists (holiday travelers) are bombarded with alternative products and destinations, Uganda is just but one of the competitors and to penetrate this market our packaging this time round must not be narrowed to a few faces of individuals who have made it to A-class status. We must compete with an approach unique to Uganda. Please don’t blow an opportunity, we are here to assist maintain the nation, country.

The writer is a hospitality professional and administrator


 

Popes visis vis-à-vis tourism

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